Intercontinental ballistic missile launch at Mirny, Russia. Photo/REUTERS
BRUSSELS – The European Commission announced on Tuesday (17/1/2023) that it will set up the first strategic stockpile of equipment and supplies to respond to a potential chemical or nuclear incident.
Those stocks will be made available to each member of the European Union (EU) in response to a potential chemical or nuclear incident. The stockpile will be located in Finland for easy access from the Baltic countries.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said, “The conflict in Ukraine confirms the need to prepare supplies, which will provide the EU with a significant safety net enabling a rapid and coordinated response at EU level.”
EuroNews reports, “The stockpile will cover critical medical countermeasures, including vaccines and antidotes, medical equipment and field response equipment needed to respond to biological, radiological and nuclear accidents.”
Also read: Former Russian President Bombs the Davos Forum with Super Spicy Words
In theory, facilities should be able to send supplies within 12 hours of the affected member accepting the EU’s offer of assistance.
Brussels has approved 242 million euros ($261 million) in funding for the program, which aims to have reserves ready for use by 2024.
“Individual countries do not have sufficient measurement capacity and expert resources to respond to large-scale radiation accidents,” Karim Peltonen, director of the Finnish Nuclear and Radiation Safety Authority, told EuroNews.
Also read: Russian spy boss reveals why the Ukraine crisis remains deadlocked
EU authorities say their aim is to ensure capabilities and response teams can be deployed anywhere on the continent.