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29 December 201417:25

Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry on statements by the Head of the Russian Red Cross Society’s Moscow branch Igor Trunov

2986-29-12-2014

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For three days already, the Ukrainian media has been circulating comments made by Head of the Russian Red Cross Society's Moscow branch Igor Trunov concerning Russian humanitarian aid to Ukraine's southeast. According to reports, Mr Trunov suddenly decided to characterise the Russian Emergencies Ministry's convoy as an "invasion" and to equate the humanitarian aid being delivered with dual-use goods.

Such irresponsible statements can only cause regret. As is well known, Russia invites Ukraine and the International Committee of the Red Cross to cooperate on a regular basis in the organisation of this humanitarian operation. Recent convoys with humanitarian aid from Russia have been inspected by Ukrainian border guards, and we hope to continue this practice.

Mr Trunov's statement about the alleged "invasion" of Ukraine by a Russian paramilitary formation indicates that there are some gaps in his knowledge of international humanitarian assistance. It is worldwide practice to use emergency response units when the situation demands it, and the situation in Ukraine's southeast certainly qualifies as an emergency.

29 December 2014

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