On July 31, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Donald Trump who offered US help in fighting wildfires in Siberia.
According to the Russian leader, he will accept the offer if it ‘becomes necessary’. Putin also informed Trump that a powerful group of aircraft had been formed in Siberia to put out the wildfires. Solutions have been found to problems with the refuelling and deployment of airplanes and helicopters, he said with reference to the Emergencies Ministry.
“The President of Russia regards the US President’s offer as a sign that it is possible that full-scale bilateral relations will be restored in the future,” the Kremlin press service reports.
The residents of Siberia demanded that the authorities introduce a state of emergency and start extinguishing 3 million hectares of burning forests. More than 400,000 people have already signed the petition on change.org.
Siberian fires are visible even from space. The area of the burning forests is comparable to that of Belgium or Crimea.More than 90% of the fire area is covered by so-called control zones – remote forest areas where the law does not allow extinguishing fires but only monitoring them.
The Russian Air Forces joined the firefighting campaign in Siberia on Wednesday. Fires were reported in the Irkutsk and Tyumen regions, in Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, Perm and Zabajkalsk Krais, Buryatia and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The fires have sent out a lot of smoke causing significant air degradation in a number of Russian cities.