Moscow, Kiev agree on humanitarian operation as tensions ease

Moscow, Kiev agree on humanitarian operation as tensions ease
Mon Aug 11, 2014 22:34:46

Russia and Ukraine have agreed on a humanitarian aid to the conflict zone under the authority of the Red Cross, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, as tensions between Moscow and Kiev ease.

“With careful optimism, I can now say that, I think, all possible and impossible pretexts have been dismissed. I hope that in the very nearest future this humanitarian action will take place under the authority of the Red Cross,” Lavrov said.

“We’ve agreed on all details with the Ukrainian leadership,” the Foreign Minister declared.

He also expressed hope that “Western partners won’t put a spoke in the wheel and will think about the people who are badly in need of water and electricity,” Lavrov said.

Russia, together with the International Red Cross Committee, is sending a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, according to the president’s press service.

“Attention was focused on the catastrophic consequences of the military operation conducted by the Kiev authorities in the south-eastern regions, and the necessity to urgently deliver humanitarian aid to the conflict zone,” the statement said.

Foreign minister accused Washington, London and Berlin of a “blatant expression of cynicism” in thinking eastern Ukraine doesn’t need humanitarian aid.

“If what the press services in London and Washington, and I think, Berlin, too, [say] - about the telephone contacts of the US, UK and German leaders - if it’s true what was said, and in particular that all three leaders agreed there is no need for humanitarian aid to southeastern Ukraine, because all necessary measures are already being taken, then it’s a blatant expression of cynicism,” the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without water, electricity, mobile, and stationary communications for over a week. Constant deadly shellings have forced many to seek refuge in underground shelters, and 117,000 have been forcibly displaced within Ukraine, according to the latest UN figures. According to Moscow's data, 730,000 others have fled to Russia.


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