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Russian trucks carried nothing but humanitarian aid — Lavrov

Russia has sent a note in Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about its plans to send a new humanitarian aid convoy

Humanitarian aid distribution involving Red Cross International Committee’s representatives begins in the city of Luhansk on Monday.

Russia will remain donor of Red Cross missions, Lavrov said. Delays in sending new humanitarian convoy will violate the norms of international law, he added.

Misinformation on Ukrainian developments

Enough misinformation exists on “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

“There are reports saying the Ukrainian army destroyed a Russian military convoy and that airborne assault vehicles carrying certain documents had been seized. Even if one can imagine this as being the truth, who would carry so many documents? This is ridiculous,” he said.

“Neither US special services nor independent sources could confirm this episode,” Lavrov said. It looks like the West loses interest in investigating Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jet crash in Ukraine, Lavrov added.

“We are basically the only country that is trying to keep attention on this most serious problem," he added.

“We will press for the truth just as we will do in the ‘snipers’ case’, the May 2 Odessa tragedy and similar events in Mariupol,” the minister said, referring to key outbreaks of violence as Ukraine's crisis has unfolded.

Europe and the United States will grow out of their distrust in Russia, he said.

“This (distrust) will pass,” the minister said, answering a question about the restoration of the international community’s confidence in Russia that allegedly violates Ukraine’s sovereignty. “Sovereignty and territorial integrity should be ensured, above all, by the state itself,” he said. “Everybody must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of a state and its people’s right to self-determination,” Lavrov said.

Military operation in Ukraine's south-east

Lavrov says Ukrainian forces treatment of east Ukraine residents can be considered a war crime.

OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers noted atrocities which Ukrainian military forces, particularly punitive battalion Aidar, commit on ‘liberated territories’, Lavrov said.

Ukrainian forces may start ethnic cleansing in the country's south-east, the foreign minister stressed.

Peaceful settlement in Ukraine

Russia recognized Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine's president, and expects him to stop war, the foreign minister said.

Moscow is ready to exert efforts for the Ukrainian crisis settlement in any format and help Ukrainians reach accord, Lavrov said.

“We are ready to work in any form, help Ukrainians to reach agreements with each other, agree on the parameters for creating their single state that would respect all minorities and regions,” the minister said. “The issue of the ways to decentralize powers and what competence should be given to regions should be the subject for negotiations and mutual accord,” he added.

Moscow hopes that participating parties in the international meeting on the Ukrainian crisis settlement, due to kick off on Tuesday in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, will exchange opinions not only on the conflict resolution but on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine as well, Lavrov said on Monday.

“We hope that tomorrow’s meeting in Minsk will focus on all issues, which include the humanitarian crisis, and the participating parties will also exchange opinion on perspectives for the crisis settlement in Ukraine,” Lavrov told journalists.

“All participants share the stance that it is necessary to launch a political dialogue,” Lavrov said. “Minsk format is not the only one that can be used. The Geneva format (the EU, the United States, Russia and Ukraine) is also on the table.”

“We (Russia) are ready for any kind of a format as long as there will be a result,” the Russian minister said.