Emergencies Minister: Russian rescue services conduct 40 operations abroad in 2012

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has conducted 40 humanitarian operations abroad since the beginning of the year, Minister Vladimir Puchkov announced on Tuesday.

"Forty humanitarian operations have been carried out since January and more than 20 operations have been conducted to evacuate Russian citizens after accidents and natural disasters," he told the 6th meeting of top emergencies officials of the APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum which opened on Russky Island on Tuesday.

Puchkov highly appraised the ministry's performance in 2012, saying that, "the ministry's firefighters put out 300-400 fires, rescue services respond to half of the traffic accidents and bomb disposal experts defuse 100-200 explosive devices daily."

Russian rescue and firefighting services save one life each 12 minutes, he said. "At least ten lives have been saved since we gathered here," he told the audience.

Puchkov also added that Russia will spare no effort to maintain the environmental safety of life in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Maintaining a safe environment is a condition required for economic development," he said calling for new approaches to be applied to the protection of people and territories against emergencies.

"Russia is ready to contribute to this work as much as possible," he said.

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