The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is ready to sign a memorandum on mutual understanding with the Russian emergencies ministry, official spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry Alexander Yakovenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti in connection with the forthcoming visit to Russia on October 8-11th of the UN WFP executive director, James Morris.
According to Yakovenko, the Russian side has already prepared a draft memorandum on mutual understanding between the emergencies ministry and the WFP. The signing of this document would open an opportunity for expanding Russia-WFP partnership. This, in particular, concerns the participation of Russian organisations in material and technical support of the WFP in various regions of the world.
Yakovenko stressed that the WFP secretariat had expressed readiness to start developing practical cooperation with the Russian side after the signing of the memorandum, in particular to consider the possibility of using Russian sea vessels, on the commercial basis, for delivering humanitarian cargoes. The international organisation is ready to co-operate in the African region, including the humanitarian mine clearing, the development of Avtoshkola project in Kigali (Ruanda), the creation of camps-modules for refugees and forced migrants, and electrification of rural localities in Guinea.
The high-ranking diplomat also reported that the World Food Programme is planning to use the Russian emergencies ministry's potential in Afghanistan for the entire term of the humanitarian operation in the country. This is connected with the geographic closeness, the experience of work there, a powerful material base, and successful joint work with the structures of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan similar to the Russian emergencies ministry.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969