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Russia to help Ukraine’s southeast, but Kiev must restore embattled regions - Medvedev

September 08, 2014, 6:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Those who make decisions to use artillery, tanks and military aircraft against their own nationals and cities should realize that they will have to pay “a huge economic price” for that, he said
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, September 08, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will keep providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine’s embattled southeast, but it is up to Kiev to restore destroyed buildings, factories and infrastructure, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

“Besides buildings [in southeast Ukraine], production facilities have been destroyed too. It is a very big problem how they will be rebuilt. But it is up to Ukraine to take care of it, if the Ukrainian authorities believe the regions are part of Ukraine,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Vedomosti business daily.

The Russian premier said that those who make decisions to use artillery, tanks and military aircraft against their own nationals and cities should realize that they will have to pay “a huge economic price” for that.

“The forces who encourage it should realize that they will have to contribute their assistance; but this aid is not seen yet,” he said.

“We will anyway help Ukraine’s southeastern regions, we are already doing it, this is the Russian Federation’s humanitarian mission for regions and people close to us,” Medvedev said.

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR), have killed hundreds of civilians, brought massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s southeast.

The trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and representatives of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR reached an agreement in Belarusian capital Minsk on Friday on cessation of fire in Ukraine’s southeast, troops withdrawal, exchange of prisoners and provision of humanitarian aid.

On August 22, Russia delivered over 2,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid, including food (grain, sugar, baby food), medications, sleeping bags and portable power generators, to eastern Ukrainian regions.

Also Medvedev said that Russia has had to pay some 1 billion rubles ($27 million) for the stay of Ukrainian refugees on its territory.

“It’s a humanitarian tragedy, we take that into account and are already providing [Russian] regions with additional funds. And this is not little money. I have had to make a number of decisions connected with financing the stay of refugees, already to the tune of up to 1 billion rubles,” Medvedev said.

The southern Russian Rostov Region on the border with eastern Ukraine has received the greatest number of government subsidies as it has the biggest number of refugees from the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

In July-August alone, more than 350 million rubles ($9.5 million) was allocated from the federal budget to finance the refugees’ sojourn. Such subsidies are also provided to dozens of other Russian regions.

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR), have killed hundreds of civilians, brought massive destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s southeast.

The trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine (Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and representatives of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR reached an agreement in Belarusian capital Minsk on September 5 on cessation of fire in Ukraine’s southeast, troops withdrawal, exchange of prisoners and provision of humanitarian aid.

Russia also provides humanitarian assistance to east Ukrainian residents. On August 22, Russia delivered over 2,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid, including food (grain, sugar, baby food), medications, sleeping bags and portable power generators, to eastern Ukrainian regions.

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