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Opinions & Interviews

29 Oct 2015

Belarus’ efforts to overcome Chernobyl consequences praised

GORKI, 29 October (BelTA) – A huge amount of work has been done in Belarus to overcome consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. The statement was made by Alexander Popkov, Chairman of the Ecology, Nature Management, and Emergencies Cleanup Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, on 29 October, BelTA has learned. Alexander Popkov spoke as he opened the science and practice conference held in the Russian city of Gorki to discuss the role of the Belarus-Russia Union in overcoming consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe.

Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, the Belarusian parliament, representatives of the Permanent Committee of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, Russian and Belarusian ministries and government agencies, scientists and reporters took part in the conference and the Union State evolution seminar permanently opened under the aegis of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia to discuss 30 years after the Chernobyl catastrophe and the role of the Union State in overcoming the catastrophe’s consequences.

According to Alexander Popkov, Belarus has already spent $20 billion on overcoming consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. The figure represents nearly 2.5 budgets of the country. The money has been spent on social security for people, rehabilitation of the affected territories, efforts to enable safe living standards of the population and so on. All the relevant government programs and goals outlined by the head of state and the government are carried out in full in Belarus.

Apart from that, over RUB3.5 billion has been spent on various projects as part of three joint programs since 1998 when Belarus and the Russian Federation joined efforts to deal with consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. The Union State budget has been tapped into to create a common legal space and a common system to render specialized medical aid to citizens of Belarus and Russia. A research and practice center for radiation medicine and human ecology in the Belarusian city of Gomel has been built and equipped. The radiological research and healthcare center of the Russian Healthcare Ministry in Obninsk has been reconstructed. Other projects have been implemented as well.

Work proceeds in Belarus and Russia on a continuous basis to rehabilitate the territories, offer recreation opportunities to kids all the year round, and provide the necessary medical services to the population. Alexander Popkov pointed out that conditions have been enabled for people to live normal lives in the affected territories. The official said that the meeting held on 29 October was supposed to sum up results of all these efforts, review the existing situation, and work out strategic directions for the sustainable development of these territories in the future.

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