Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin, accompanied by General Ljubiša Diković, Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, and Lieutenant General Milosav Simović, Army Commander, have visited today the works on technical reconnaissance of the surfaces at Dubinje Airport near Sjenica, suspected of being contaminated with unexploded ordnance.
On this occasion, Minister Vulin pointed out that during the NATO aggression, about 170 facilities of the Yugoslav Army, that is, the Serbian Armed Forces, were destroyed and damaged.
– It remains as a task for us to completely clear around 80 facilities from pollution that occurred during the NATO aggression and bombardment itself.
The Sjenica Airport is of strategic importance in this area and it is very important that the Serbian Armed Forces returns here both for the sake of the citizens of Sjenica and for the security of our entire country. The people who work here are properly trained, equipped with the highest quality protective equipment and they have to get all they need for peaceful and safe work - Minister Vulin said.
According to him, the Serbian Armed Forces has a big task to do, for the sake of its safety, but also for the safety of its citizens in general, to clean all the remaining 80 rooms contaminated with unexploded ordnance, restore them and preserve them for peaceful and smooth use.
– The Serbian Armed Forces takes great care of the safety of its members, and this is what is most important to us here. That is exactly why the Chief of General Staff and I, as well as the Army Commander, came here to visit these people, to see what they need, to see if we can do anything else for them, we are certainly satisfied with the way they work, and in the first place to take care of their safety - Minister Vulin said.
After the visit, General Diković pointed out that it is well known that in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, after the NATO aggression, there are still areas that are not completely cleared of unexploded ordnance.
– One of such facilities is this one on Mt. Peshter, in particular, the Sjenica airport, which was bombed several times from the air space, both with cluster bombs and bombs of great destructive power. After the preparations, which included training of people, procurement of protective equipment, we finally decided to go out into this space and to do a part of the decontamination or cleaning of unexploded ordnance in the next three months – General Diković explained.
As the Chief of General Staff pointed out, these works are not exclusively related to the needs of the Armed Forces, but also for the safety of citizens in this area.
– I hope that with the help of citizens of Sjenica Municipality, we will be able to fulfill this task and create a safe environment for people in this region. It is an extremely risky and responsible task, and we dared, because we prepared well for that – General Diković pointed out by giving special recognition to all those who have worked here so far, because in a short time the effects are above expectations in terms of field search. He also added that there is certainly no need to rush, but that this work should be done primarily responsibly and following the rules, expressing the hope that the terrain will be cleaned even before the deadline in September.
Speaking about the importance of cooperation with the Serbian Armed Forces, the President of the Municipal Assembly of Sjenica Muhedin Fijuljanin emphasized that for the citizens of the Municipality of Sjenica the work carried out by the Serbian Armed Forces is of paramount importance, especially on that section around the Dubinje airport.
– I hope that the cooperation, which has been good so far, will be even better in the future, in order to prepare this airport for use. At this airport, we see great developmental chances, bearing in mind that the Belgrade-Bar highway will pass in the immediate vicinity, and we think that in this respect it can be a great developmental prospect, both for the municipality of Sjenica, and for the Republic of Serbia as a whole – Fijuljanin emphasized.