Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s phone conversation with President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer
INFORMATION FOR THE MEDIA
On 19 August, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov had a phone conversation with President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer, who highly praised Russia's humanitarian relief to the population of south-east Ukraine. Mr Maurer pointed out that the Russian side and self-defence forces have fully envisaged all aspects of ensuring security of the humanitarian convoy and of the ICRC personnel involved in the action. At the same time, the Ukrainian side has not yet given the required guarantees for the security of the convoy's passage and subsequent distribution of humanitarian aid.
Mr Lavrov and Mr Maurer acknowledged the urgent need to settle the outstanding security issue with the Ukrainian side.
Mr Lavrov expressed hope that the alarming delay in providing security guarantees is not an attempt on the part of Kiev or other forces to wreck the crucial humanitarian action. He recalled that food, water and electricity supplies are diminishing in the area of hostilities with every passing day. The infrastructure is being destroyed, sick people have no medicine, and children have no food. Many cities and villages lack essentials. Urgent delivery of Russian humanitarian aid is more important than ever before.
It was emphasised that the Russian side agreed from the beginning to the convoy's route suggested by Kiev. However, later on the Ukrainian side suggested changing the route because it was not confident of its ability to ensure the convoy's security, and the Russian side agreed to this, too.
Mr Lavrov and Mr Maurer agreed to take active measures in the next few hours with a view to settling the issue of delivering the Russian humanitarian aid to its destination as soon as possible.
19 August 2014