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MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered assistance to the citizens of Debaltsevo and other settlements in the Ukrainian conflict zone that are facing a humanitarian crisis.
"I have tasked the Emergencies Ministry with preparing necessary decisions on providing humanitarian assistance to immediately deliver humanitarian aid and namely food and medicines in accordance with international rules," Medvedev said.
The prime minister told a government meeting that people in Debaltsevo and neighboring areas are "starving."
Russian Emergencies Ministry has reacted immediately saying it will send additional humanitarian aid convoy to Debaltsevo urgently.
"An Emergencies Ministry convoy will depart for Donetsk and Luhansk with humanitarian cargoes that from there will be delivered to Debaltsevo and a number of other localities that experience shortages of food, prime necessities and have no life support facilities," the ministry said.
Local authorities have been urgently deploying in these areas social canteens, humanitarian aid reception centres. "The dispatch of the ministry’s convoys will help stabilise the situation and prevent a humanitarian disaster," the ministry said.
The cargo is already being formed in the Rostov region. "Part of humanitarian aid will be airlifted to Rostov-on-Don by Emergences Ministry’s planes today and then will be reloaded on the convoy trucks," the Emergencies Ministry said.
Russian Prime Minister ordered the Energy Ministry and Gazprom on Thursday to prepare proposals on humanitarian gas supplies to south-east Ukraine.
"There is still another problem relating to gas supply: by decision of the Ukrainian authorities, in any case, by the decision that has not yet been cancelled, and as a result of their certain actions, gas is not supplied to the territory of a whole number of populated areas [in south-east Ukraine]. Despite their calls for gas supplies, this is not taking place," Medvedev said.
"I would like the Energy Ministry to prepare proposals jointly with Gazprom on providing humanitarian aid through gas supplies for the needs of these regions, unless urgent measures are taken for their provision with gas using the customary scheme," Medvedev said.
"In any case, people should not be freezing and that is why you need to prepare the necessary proposals," the Russian premier said.