By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on August 12 said Ukraine needs more demining equipment and the ability to manufacture such equipment itself.
Zelenskiy commented on an aid package announced earlier this week by Azerbaijan that included a demining machine.
“Ukraine also needs equipment from partners, and it is very important to create a production base in Ukraine so that we can clear our land of Russian mines,” Zelenskiy said.
Zelenskiy cited data on the prevalence of mines in Ukraine, saying Ukrainian specialists “detect hundreds of explosive objects every day.” Mines and unexploded ammunition currently are spread across 174,000 square kilometers of Ukraine or about 20 percent of the country, he said.
“And the more we have demining machines, the more special drones we have for demining, the more actively we will be able to restore security,” Zelenskiy said.
The Ukrainian Economy Ministry on August 7 announced that Ukrainian manufacturers had declared their readiness to produce equipment for demining.
Zelenskiy said earlier on X, formerly known as Twitter, that several European countries had joined a Group of Seven (G7) declaration in support of security guarantees.
The countries are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden, he said.
“This, together with Peace Formula, is a signal [that] peace will come; aggression will fail,” he said.
The G7 leading industrial nations last month announced an international framework that paves the way for long-term security assurances for Ukraine to boost its defenses against Russia and deter Moscow from future aggression.
The joint declaration, which the G7 said other nations could join, said the framework encompasses elements including modern advanced military equipment, training, intelligence-sharing, and cyberdefense.
In return, Ukraine would pledge improved governance measures, including through judicial and economic reforms and enhanced transparency.