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Moscow regrets Red Cross official describing aid convoys to Ukraine as invasion

December 29, 2014, 19:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The latest convoys carrying Russian humanitarian aid were inspected by Russian border guards, and the Foreign Ministry hopes the procedure will be continued
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A stop sign seen in front of the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

A stop sign seen in front of the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed regret over the comments the chief of the Russian Red Cross Office, Igor Trunov, made regarding Russia’s humanitarian convoys to eastern Ukraine.

“It is for a third day running that Ukrainian media have been replicating comments by the head of the Moscow office of the Russian Red Cross, Igor Trunov, regarding Russian humanitarian assistance to Ukraine’s southeast,” the Foreign Ministry said. “Judging by these reports this humanitarian aid functionary has all of a sudden decided to describe the Emergencies Ministry convoys as ‘invasion’ and to interpret the humanitarian cargoes as “dual purpose products.”

“Such irresponsible statements cannot but cause regret,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “As is known, in making arrangements for this humanitarian operation Russia has permanently dispatched invitations to cooperate to the Ukrainian side and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The latest convoys carrying Russian humanitarian aid were inspected by Russian border guards. We hope that this procedure will be continued.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Trunov’s allegations about some intrusion by a Russian paramilitary structure in Ukraine points to the need for enhancing the general level of competence of the chief of the Russian Red Cross’s Moscow office in the sphere of international humanitarian assistance.

“The involvement of units whose mission is to respond to emergencies, of which the situation in the southeast of Ukraine is certainly one, is standard world practice,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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