kraine's Emergencies Minister Viktor Baloha believes that the Emergencies Ministry and the Interior Ministry should be merged and hopes that this initiative will be supported at the state level.

"I believe that the Emergencies Ministry should be united with the Interior Ministry. This is a European standard. The country should have a single agency in charge of the security of the people. The merger of the two ministries is my task for next year. We are currently working through all the relevant proposals to be submitted to the president for consideration. I hope that the president will take such a decision," the minister said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

According to Baloha, other priority tasks for the ministry and Ukrainian rescuers for next year include the continued work to set up the 112 emergency phone system as well as the provision of response to possible emergencies that may arise during the Euro 2012 European Football Championship.

"Our rescue units are preparing to work with large crowds of people at major facilities. We're relying on the expertise of our counterparts from the emergency services of those states that have already conducted public events on such scale. I won't go into details, so as not to create an unnecessary stir around it. But I will say that we will be fully prepared for the European Championship," he said.

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