Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend K.Ramazanova / NATO intends to continue demining the Agstafa region of Azerbaijan within the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Program, NATO announced.
The former military base at Saloglu, Agstafa district, was the largest Soviet ammunition storage facility in the South-Caucasus.
When Azerbaijan regained its independence in 1991, the facility was destroyed by the departing Soviet Army, scattering thousands of pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) over an area of 4,400 hectares.
In January 2006, a NATO PfP Trust Fund project was launched to clear 568 hectares of the most hazardous areas. Following a joint visit by NATO and Azeri experts, the decision was made to launch a second phase of the project.
This phase will require funding of € 440,000. It is expected to start in June 2007 and last for sixteen months. The Government of Azerbaijan is covering € 131,000, Turkey, the lead nation for the original project will contribute € 50,000, and Bulgaria will add another € 15,000.
The second phase is planned to be launched in June this year.