Free Press Journal

Russia blames Ukraine for interfering in humanitarian aid


Moscow:  Moscow Saturday accused Kiev of interfering with the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to troubled regions in eastern Ukraine.

Kiev’s recent accusation that Moscow delayed the handover of some documents to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was “perplexing”, Xinhua quoted a Russian foreign ministry statement as saying.

Such accusations are “new attempts to interfere with delivery of the Russian humanitarian aid to the people in Lugansk and Donetsk”, it said.

“Those involved in and … those who ordered the attack on the Izvarino-Lugansk route under Kiev’s permission bear direct responsibility for the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine’s southeast,” it added.

Ukrainian authorities claimed that Russia refused to deliver the humanitarian aid across the checkpoints controlled by Ukraine, and has not presented information on contents of the humanitarian aid.

In response, Russia said that the current Izvarino-Lugansk delivery route was Kiev’s choice since “they could not guarantee the original one’s safety”, which Russia agreed to at all times.

The statement also said that the documentation on the specification of Russia’s humanitarian cargo, including the numbers of packages and validity, was sent to the ICRC headquarters several days ago.

“We have not received any additional requests to specify or give further details from them,” the ministry added.

Russia urged all parties to take immediate action to fully guarantee the safety of the humanitarian mission, including ceasefire and settlement of the remaining issues about the aid delivery.

A new round of hassling raged recently as Russia accused Ukrainian forces of trying to cut off the route for the Russian humanitarian convoy, while the Ukrainian side said its artillery had destroyed a significant part of a Russian armoured column that crossed into Ukraine.