NSPA participates in Opening Ceremony for Trust Fund Project in Azerbaijan

09 July 2014

The Opening Ceremony for Phase II of the NATO Trust Fund Project in Azerbaijan was held recently and attended by NSPA General Manager, Mike Lyden, along with Program Manager Mr. Bülent Tudes from the General and Cooperative Services Program and Mr. David Towndrow Project Officer.

This Trust Fund Project aims to clear unexploded munitions from the old Soviet range at Jeyranchel, North-West Azerbaijan. NSPA is the executing agent for the project and the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) is the main contractor.

The July 8th ceremony was also attended by Azerbaijan Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov, Ambassadorial representatives from donor nations, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Mr James Appathurai, and senior representatives of international organisations. 

Phase I of the project succeeded in clearing 173 anti-tank mines and 14,237 items of live unexploded munitions from 19 square kilometres of the western third of the range along the border with Georgia. Phase II will clear unexploded munitions and other range debris of the central third of the range and is planned to take 24 months. 

“The 28-month Phase I of the project was completed just under budget and we were fortunate to have sufficient donations in time to ensure smooth progress of the work.” said Lyden. The total cost of the two phases will be 4.8MEUR from voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund.

Mr Appathurai added “Azerbaijan has contributed a lot to NATO, in particular to NATO operations. This project allows NATO to do something very concrete in return, i.e to enhance the everyday safety and security of Azerbaijani citizens living near the areas that used to be contaminated with unexploded ordnance."

“Managing a project such as this is made so much easier when working with a high performance organization such as ANAMA with strong support from both the Government of Azerbaijan and NATO. All parties are looking forward to additional success for phase II.” concluded Lyden.