On 25 June the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry and the USA Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed to an ongoing exchange of experts during joint rescue operations in major disasters. The agreement was signed in Washington during the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Working Group on Emergency Situations and seventeenth meeting of Joint U.S.-Russia Cooperation Committee on Emergency Situations.
The document provides for expert cooperation in disaster response operations and to study the latest practices. Both parties agreed for an exchange of experts through 2014 to include monitoring and forecasting of emergency situations, training of rescuers, development of mine-rescuing and provision of security at mass events.
During the meeting both countries expressed the desire to develop cooperation between the Russian Federation and the United States in the area of emergency prevention and response and agreed to assist in responding to all kinds of disasters.
The USA will help the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry develop expertise in areas of search and rescue, fire fighting, and disaster relief while the Russians will work with FEMA and Homeland Security on “crowd control” techniques and expertise.
The Mendeleyev Journal recognizes and appreciates international cooperation among all countries on issues such as disaster relief. The sharing of technology and expertise on fire fighting and search and rescue are admirable especially between two countries who have struggled to maintain a relationship in the midst of a continuing series of foreign policy missteps and misunderstandings.
We should point out that the techniques and troops Russia employs to deal with crowd control (translation: mass unrest and riots) are very different from the American system and frankly, to “learn” from Russia’s Interior Ministry about “crowd control” is not only a mistake, but a loss of American rights and freedoms. The US Constitution forbids the deployment of foreign troops on US soil; the US Constitution also forbids the use of US troops in police actions against US citizens.
It didn’t take long for the rumour mills to churn after the signing of the FEMA/МЧС documents. One online newspaper, the EU Times, claims that the Obama administration has requested 1,500 Russian riot troops be deployed to FEMA region 3 which includes the area around Washington DC, Virgina, and West Virginia for an upcoming disaster. The newspaper did not identify the nature of the alleged upcoming disaster.