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Russia to soon submit proposals on humanitarian mission for Ukraine Southeast to UN, OSCE

July 30, 2014, 19:55 UTC+3 DUSHANBE
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DUSHANBE, July 30. /ITAR-TASS/.Russia will soon submit to international organizations its proposals to organize a humanitarian mission for Ukraine’s embattled Southeast, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.

The proposals will be handed to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Lavrov said.

He said the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions are facing a humanitarian disaster.

“People are fleeing the regions, first of all they are heading to Russia and some to other Ukrainian regions,” the top Russian diplomat said. “Those who come to Russia say what horrors they had to live through. They obtain the required assistance on the territory of the Russian Federation.”

“Assistance is also rendered to Ukrainian servicemen, who, when they receive wounds, ask for medical services on our territory and then return I don’t know where - into the ranks of the National Guard or to peaceful life,” he said.

Lavrov added that many people “just can’t leave Donetsk and Lugansk, those who need emergency medical care can’t get it as it is hard to leave the area under fire, and many people have nowhere to go and are afraid to leave their homes.”

“We have long been raising the issue before international organizations that it is necessary to urgently deliver the required medical and food assistance to Donetsk and Lugansk,” he said.

“We have repeatedly turned to the Ukrainian side officially, through notes from our ministry, with requests to allow supplies of humanitarian aid by Emergencies Ministry convoys. We received a flat unmotivated refusal,” Lavrov said.

“We heard a very cynical announcement that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, but that Crimea is facing a humanitarian catastrophe,” he continued. “We were told to send all our food and medications to Crimea.”

“In the near future, we will formulate specific proposals for the UN and the OSCE, for the ICRC and the International Organization for Migration urging them to urgently form a humanitarian mission for Ukraine’s southeast,” he said.

“It would be criminal to close our eyes to what’s happening, to the humanitarian nature of the people’s needs. We will act and expect a specific reaction on the part of the international community,” Lavrov said.

Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Hundreds of civilians have been killed and over 1,300 wounded in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.

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