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Russia, Italy, Japan to form joint emergency response force

RIA Novosti

03/04/2007 15:23 MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's emergencies ministry is planning to launch a joint project with Italy and Japan to create an airmobile rescue group to deal with emergency situations around the world, a ministry's official said Tuesday.

"We are discussing with Japan and Italy the possibility of creating a global airmobile force similar to the [future] Russian-German GlobalAviaSpas system," said Yury Brazhnikov, head of the Emergency Situations Ministry's international cooperation department.

GlobalAviaSpas (GAS) is a joint Russian-German initiative launched in 2006, which could be implemented in the format of the Russia-NATO Council and as part of the EU's program of emergency response to major natural disasters. It provides simplified mechanisms for granting permits to pass through international airspace, among other measures.

Part of the initiative is a joint rescue group, which includes the Russian Il-76TD transport aircraft and Be-200 multi-role amphibious aircraft and German Bundeswehr's A-310 hospital aircraft and Bo-105 light search and rescue helicopters.

"The new emergency rescue system will allow us to quickly transport emergency patients to any medical facility in the world," Brazhnikov said.

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