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MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. A Russian plane carrying humanitarian aid to Syria on its return flight on Monday picked up some 87 citizens who wanted to leave the war-torn country, an emergencies ministry spokesman told TASS.
The Emergencies Ministry aircraft delivered more than 20 tonnes of humanitarian cargo - food products, including canned meat, fish and milk products, and daily necessities - to the port city of Latakia in north-western Syria.
The return flight took Russian citizens permanently residing in Syria back to Moscow alongside nationals of other former Soviet countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
"The Il-76 plane is currently flying back from Latakia to Moscow," the spokesman said, adding that: "Some 87 people willing to leave the conflict zone are on board the plane, including 54 Russian citizens, twelve citizens of Syria and ten of Ukraine, as well as citizens of Belarus and Kazakhstan."
In late February, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said at a meeting with Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), that Russia would continue bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Syria.
Over the past years, Russia has delivered more than 500 tonnes of food, medicines and other essentials to the war-torn country. Over 1,000 nationals of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other CIS and European countries have been evacuated from the conflict zone.