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SOCHI, August 10 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia hopes that the issue of relief aid delivery to eastern Ukraine will be resolved soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday, adding that the problem was under control of President Vladimir Putin.
“We think this is a pressing issue that admits of no delay. This issue is under control of the Russian president,” Lavrov said. “We hope we will be able to agree relief aid deliveries to those who need them as soon as possible.”
Lavrov said Russia was taking efforts to agree with Ukraine, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations on humanitarian aid deliveries.
“Now, our top priority task is to agree on urgent humanitarian aid to the Lugansk and Donetsk regions with the Ukrainian side, with the International Committee of the Red Cross and with international humanitarian organizations within the United Nations system,” he told journalists.
The Red Cross reported on Friday that armed clashes between pro-Kiev troops and self-defense militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions had deteriorated the humanitarian situation in east Ukraine as thousands of families had been forced to flee their homes.
“The living conditions of the resident population are worsening also,” the Red Cross said in a statement.
Almost 850,000 people have been forced to flee their homes since the start of Kiev’s military operation in the country’s southeast, of whom 730,000 have found shelter in Russia, according to data reported by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.