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Russia pledges continuing aid to Syrian people

September 08, 2015, 19:06 UTC+3
Bulgaria has closed its airspace to Russian cargo planes with relief aid for Syria
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©  AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Russia will continue bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Syria, the Emergencies Ministry said on Tuesday.

"The Russian Emergencies Ministry continues its planned work to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people affected by the armed conflict," Alexander Tomashov, deputy director of the Emergencies Ministry’s international affairs department told TASS, adding that the ministry would soon deliver further supplies of food products and daily necessities to the war-torn country.

Return flights usually take Russian citizens permanently residing in Syria back to Moscow alongside nationals of other former Soviet countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States. "This work will also continue," Tomashov said.

Over the past years, Russia has delivered more than 1,100 tonnes of food, medicines and other essentials to Syria. Over 1,500 nationals of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other CIS and European countries have been evacuated from the conflict zone aboard special planes sent by the Emergencies Ministry.

Meanwhile, as it has become known on Tuesday, Bulgaria has closed its airspace to Russian cargo planes with relief aid for Syria. The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has confirmed earlier reports by Greek mass media to this effect.

"A corresponding notification was sent in response to Russia’s request last weekend," Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Betina Zhoteva told TASS.

"We denied permission to let Russian military-transport planes cross Bulgarian territory because on the basis of the available information we have reasonable doubts the cargoes are not the declared ones. The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry made that decision of its own accord," Zhoteva said.

According to media reports, Greece earlier also received a request from the United States to close its air space for Russian aircraft making flights to Syria with humanitarian cargoes.

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