NATO representative: Antonov planes assist Allies in fight against COVID-19
The planes of the Ukrainian State Enterprise “Antonov” helped Slovakia and the Czech Republic to deliver critical medical supply from China and other places as part of a special NATO programme.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us, not only NATO, but the whole world and it continues to do so. Of course, NATO is a political and military organisation, we are not health organization… but we want to make sure that this doesn’t become a security issue,” Barbora Maronkova, Director of NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv said on the air of the DOM Ukrainian TV channel.
According to her, the Alliance has different platforms and instruments that have been put into good use to enhance coordination between member states and partner countries.
“For example, we have Euro-Atlantic Disaster Relief Center, which is of 24-hour operation, where any country who is a partner or a member can send a request for assistance. Ukraine, for example, did use this system and already some member states like Poland or Lithuania has helped Ukraine with some of the requests,” Maronkova said.
In addition, she said, NATO also has logistic capabilities and military logistic capabilities. “Aircraft of our member states can support each other and fly critical medical supply for each other. We also have a special programme, which is called the Strategic Early Capability and this allows our member states to charge commercial transport aircraft. We, for example, work with the Antonov, which has helped some of our member states like Slovakia, or the Czech Republic to deliver critical medical supply from China and other places,” the Director of NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv underscored.
As noted, the Alliance shares medical military medical experience with its partners. “Many people don’t know that NATO has its own science and technology organization. It is a network of modern 6,000 scientists from NATO member states, and they are working together on different programmes and projects that could help to create a new vaccine or to help prevent this disease from spreading again. We also search for innovative solutions, like 3D printing of ventilators or modernising diving equipment masks for medical use. So there are a lot of things NATO is doing,” Maronkova said.
“Some of the programmes are opened for partner countries like I already mentioned – the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Relief Center. Some programmes are more aimed at the NATO member states. But for example, our Science For Peace, which is another NATO programme, is also opened for partner countries, and Ukraine has been the biggest recipient of this programme,” Barbora Maronkova added.
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