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THE HAGUE, December 14. /TASS/. A rally to support civilians in Ukraine’s southeast was held in Amsterdam’s Beursplein Square on Saturday.
The event gathering dozens of Russian compatriots and Dutch nationals symbolically kicked off the raising of humanitarian aid for population of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
“We have posted an announcement on Facebook and lots of people answered,” an organizer of the rally, Natalia Vorontsova, told TASS. “Among them, there are lots of Dutchmen and Russians as well. Starting from today, our activists have begun collecting relief aid at the donators’ homes.”
“The aid will be delivered to Rotterdam where we can store it,” she said. “As soon as necessary volumes are reached, we will dispatch the cargo to Ukraine’s southeast.”
Along with this, another activist, Alexander Lipen, pointed out that there emerge certain difficulties.
“We have come across a very serious problem like people sharing our ideas and notions in other European countries did - in France, Norway and Ireland,” Lipen said. “We cannot deliver the humanitarian aid across the western border of Ukraine as it will never reach the destination but fall into the hands of National Guards. At the same time, Russian customs demand to pay a duty that is higher than the cost of the whole cargo.”
Compatriots in the Netherlands faced the similar difficulties in 2012 when they tried to deliver relief aid to victims of the floods in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region.
“It’s a very serious problem,” he said. “So I’d like to ask the government of Russian Federation to assist in this matter so that the humanitarian aid will reach residents of Ukraine’s southeast from Western Europe unimpeded.”
“We know that the Russian authorities provide help to Ukraine’s southeast but there exists a necessity for humanitarian aid and even if we can either help only a dozen of people or can help preserve only one life, we will consider our mission accomplished,” Lipen said.