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Russia ready to send New Year gifts to Donbas

November 20, 2015, 3:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

More than a hundred trucks delivered over 1,100 tonnes of relief cargoes to the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk

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MOSCOW, November 19 /TASS/. More than a hundred trucks delivered over 1,100 tonnes of relief cargoes to the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry has sent 45 aid convoys to the populations of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) since August 2014 and has pledged to do that in 2016.

"We have planned our relief work until the end of the year. We are already preparing New Year gifts for the Donbas children and old people," Puchkov told TASS.

He said that the federal bodies of state power, public organizations and ordinary people, who are bringing toys, sanitary essentials and New Year gifts, have energetically joined the relief effort.

"We are also planning our work for the first months of 2016," Puchkov said.

He noted that the Russian Emergencies Ministry was acting in strict compliance with the Minsk agreements on the provision of relief aid.

"We have been in contact with the International Red Cross Committee, our Ukrainian colleagues and other organizations in carrying out this kind of activity," the minister went on to say.

"The delivery of relief cargoes is a vital factor for the life and health of people and the provision of stable and reliable operation of energy and socially important facilities in minimal necessary volumes in the winter period," Puchkov said.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry has delivered manuals and textbooks for the Donbas students and schoolchildren. "The Moscow State University named after Lomonosov; other leading Russian institutions of high learning and public organizations are taking part in this work," Puchkov stressed.

At the same time, he pointed to the ongoing blockade of the DPR and LPR by the Kiev government. "This position is absolutely wrong. People must receive pensions and social allowances. They are the citizens of Ukraine," the Russian minister emphasized.

"The Russian Emergencies Ministry will fulfill the decision of the Russian leadership to continue helping people who are in trouble in line with humanistic principles and international documents. But I wish that the services that are obliged to do could be a bit more energetic in fulfilling their duties," Puchkov concluded.

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