UNITED NATIONS, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. An action to deliver Russian relief aid to eastern Ukraine may get under way in the next few hours, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
“We hope that no one will resume attempts to hamper the delivery of relief aid from Russia and that we will be able to start the action in the next few hours,” the Russian diplomat stressed. He also said that with hostilities still on, Russia urgently needed security guarantees from the Ukrainian side.
Churkin said the Kiev authorities had had a very special reaction to the Russia-proposed mission: they stepped up military hostilities with a clear goal to cut off the route delivery route from the Russian border to Luhansk that had earlier been agreed with them. According to Churkin, the Ukrainian troops intensified the shelling of Luhansk and its outskirts, especially places where the (Russian) relief aid is expected to arrive.
“Nevertheless, the efforts exerted by the Russian leadership have brought results. All technicalities have now been settled. The recent meeting in Berlin of the foreign ministers of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France also confirmed that all technical aspects (related to the aid’s delivery) had been solved,” the Russian diplomat stressed.
Peter Maurer, the ICRC president who took part in the debates, echoed Churkin’s view.
The Russian diplomat expressed concern with the worsening humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine where the military hostilities had left hundreds of thousands of people without running water, electricity, medical aid and food. According to him, the authorities in Kiev would still prefer not to notice “the plight of its citizens.”
“The only and really effective method to protect the population in this conflict is to announce an immediate and unconditional ceasefire,” the Russian diplomat stressed, adding Moscow had repeatedly been calling for the truce.