Austria Finances Demining Equipment for Ukraine Worth 2 Million Euros

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: May 30, 2023; 23:16 ♦ (Vindobona)

After several weeks of heated discussion on how Austria should continue to support Ukraine, the Austrian government decided to provide financial assistance to Ukraine for 2 million euros for demining.

Austria financially helps Ukraine to clear the territory of ammunition that has not exploded. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / State Emergency Service of Ukraine/ CC BY-SA 4.0 (

This measure is intended to help alleviate the acute humanitarian emergency and combat the life-threatening contamination caused by landmines and explosive remnants of war. Since Russia launched its war of aggression more than 15 months ago in violation of international law, the situation in Ukraine has worsened dramatically. Russian attacks have led to the systematic destruction of vital infrastructure, which in turn has turned large parts of the country into a life-threatening minefield. Some 10.6 million people in Ukraine are dependent on demining assistance.

However, the Austrian government stresses that no Austrian soldiers will enter Ukrainian soil as long as it remains a war zone. Instead, the financial support will be used to assist the International Trust Fund (ITF) in mine clearance. The ITF is a renowned aid organization active worldwide in the demining and clearance of explosive remnants of war.

"Since the beginning of Russia's brutal war of aggression, which was contrary to international law, Austria has been on the side of those who were invaded within the framework of military neutrality. Indeed, being neutral does not mean that we sit back and look the other way," explains Chancellor Karl Nehammer. "Through our financial support, we are helping to ensure that the Ukrainian population is protected from life-threatening mine explosions and has access to vital infrastructure once again."

The decision to support Ukraine in the demining process underlines Austria's full solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler emphasizes the importance of this aid: "In this way, we are helping to protect against life-threatening mine explosions and are helping to ensure that Ukrainian children can once again attend kindergartens and schools. And we are strengthening food security by enabling farmers to cultivate their fields again."

The financial support of 2 million euros will be transferred to the International Trust Fund, which works closely with the Ukrainian civil defense authority, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. The ITF provides mine detection equipment for humanitarian demining in Ukraine.

"Russia's brutal war of aggression on Ukraine has been raging for over 15 months. Since day 1, the Austrian Federal Government has stood rock-solidly by the side of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, who are victims of Russian aggression daily. We will continue this commitment - for as long as necessary," underlined Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

In addition to the support of the International Trust Fund, Austria has already supported the "Support Programme for Ukraine" within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the field of humanitarian demining last year. With this combined assistance, Austria is making an important contribution to addressing the mine crisis in Ukraine and supporting the affected population.