Ukraine uses Polish development aid to build mountain rescue station

The 13th Europe-Ukraine Forum has attracted close to a thousand participants. Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Polish development aid funds have been used to construct a rescue station on the Pip Ivan mountain in Ukraine's Chornohora range, said panelists at the 13th Europe-Ukraine Forum that started in Jasionka near the south-eastern city of Rzeszów on Tuesday.

"A permanent mountain rescue station on Pip Ivan has been operational since 2017. Last year the rescuers helped tourists 48 times," Krzysztof Szczurek, head of the Bieszczady Mountains section of Poland's Mountain Volunteer Search and Rescue (GOPR), said during the panel discussion.

Ukraine has used Poland's development aid funds to refurbish rooms at the former Pip Ivan meteorological observatory building as well as purchasing snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, medical supplies and communications equipment.

GOPR Bieszczady section staff ran training sessions for ten Ukrainian rescuers, with plans to train a further six, Szczurek said, adding that tourism is on the rise on the Ukrainian side of the Carpathian Mountains, which proves the rescue station was a good investment.

The 13th Europe-Ukraine Forum has attracted close to a thousand participants. The annual event ends on Wednesday.