Estonia prepared to assist Russia in battling wildfires (15)
Eestlased Eestis 04 Aug 2010  EWR
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Estonia is prepared to send rescue equipment to the government of the Russian Federation to assist in fighting widespread forest fires.

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet says that tens of people have been killed and hundred left homeless by the most severe forest fires seen in decades. “We sympathize with all of the victims of the fires and their families. We are prepared to help Russia in extinguishing the fires,“ said Paet. “Estonian government agencies are ready to work together with Russian authorities in assessing the precise needs for extinguishing the wildfires,“ he added.

Estonian Ministry of the Interior Under Secretary Erkki Koort says Estonia is prepared to provide assistance. “Although there is no specific rescue treaty in place between Estonian and Russia, this cannot be a reason for failing to lend a helping hand,” he said.

The President of the Russian Federation has declared a state of emergency in seven regions due to the wildfires, and established restrictions on travel and economic activity. A state of emergency has been declared in Mari El Republic and Mordovia as well as in the oblasts of Vladimir, Voronezh, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Ryazan.

According to the Russian Federation’s Emergencies Ministry, about 7,000 wildfires range over more than 500,000 hectares. The situation is the most serious in the Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow oblasts.

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