8th Anniversary of Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center
The Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center has already been functioning for 8 years within the framework of bilateral cooperation of the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM of Russia) and the Republic of Serbia.
The Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center was established on the territory of the Serbian city of Nish on April 25, 2012 as an intergovernmental non-profit humanitarian organization.
The specialists of the Center participate in the conduction of activities on the prevention and elimination of emergency situations. The Center provides emergency humanitarian assistance to the population affected by emergencies. Joint projects and programs of the Republic of Serbia and other countries of the Balkan region are implemented on its base. The Center organizes training and advanced training of specialists in the field of prevention and elimination of emergency situations.
Since November 2019 the Center has been headed by Andrey Mamchenkov from the Russian side and Boyan Kostich from the Serbian side with the continuous coordination of activities by the Co-Chair of the Management Board - First Deputy Minister of EMERCOM of Russia A.P. Chupriyan- from the Russian side and Milosav Milichkovich - State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia - from the Serbian side. The work of the Center remains under the constant supervision of the two Ministers - of EMERCOM of Russia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia, it is also in the field of special attention of Presidents of Russia and Serbia.
The forces and resources of the Center and EMERCOM of Russia were engaged in the extinguishing forest fires and in the search and rescue operations during floods in Serbia and other countries of the region. With their support, regular humanitarian demining projects were implemented on the territory of Serbia, as well as training programs, conferences and other international events.
The Center conducted a number of humanitarian operations and projects to assist in the elimination of emergency situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Slovenia, and Albania. Special contribution to the development of the Center is made by ICDO.
In 2019 the Center facilitated conduction of several humanitarian operations. For instance, last June EMERCOM of Russia together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia conducted the international exercise of the rescue services “Serbia-2019” on the base of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center in the city of Nish. Fire and rescue units of Russia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Cuba, Northern Macedonia, Turkey and other countries participated in the practical exercises (more than 500 rescuers, firefighters, medical staff, police officers and over 120 units of special, rescue and firefighting equipment including aviation). The delegation of the Civil Protection Directorate of the Italian Republic led by Director Angelo Borrelli also attended the exercise.
The exercise was highly and positively assessed, serving as a platform for bilateral and multilateral meetings and negotiations of the heads of foreign delegations.
Early in November last year, in order to provide assistance, an Ilyushin-76 aircraft of EMERCOM of Russia was deployed to Serbia and operated in the most hard-to-reach regions of the Stara Planina mountain system. Thanks to the effective joint actions of the specialists of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia, Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center and the crew of Ilyushin-76 aircraft of EMERCOM of Russia fires were extinguished in the shortest possible time. Upon the completion of the operation the aircraft of EMERCOM of Russia returned to its home base. The Russian humanitarian operation was highly appreciated by the leaders of Serbia and was widely covered by the media. The assistance provided is of strategic importance for further increase of interaction of our countries and strengthening the position of the Russian Federation in the region.
Last year special attention was also paid to the training of members of specialized services of Serbia at high educational institutions of EMERCOM of Russia: specialists from Belgrade, Sarajevo and Skopje were trained in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russian employees of the Center regularly conduct practical and theoretical classes at the universities of Belgrade, Nish and the Forensic Police University in the classrooms which had been equipped and donated to Serbia within the frames of the humanitarian assistance projects. In the future it is planned to train not only Serbian specialists, but also specialists from other countries of the Balkan region.
The activities of the Center are aimed at the implementation of the long-term interests of ensuring the Russian humanitarian presence in the Balkan region.