WASHINGTON, August 13 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev and Washington will agree to Russia’s humanitarian aid delivery to affected areas in eastern Ukraine if Moscow accepts the Ukrainian government’s conditions, US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf has confirmed.
“Ukraine confirmed with us directly today its readiness to facilitate the arrival of the aid and arrange for its delivery to Luhansk,” Harf said, adding that Kiev had set three preconditions for receiving the aid.
Talks are underway for Russia to deliver humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian eastern border where it will be transferred to the custody of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), according to the US foreign department’s spokeswoman.
Marie Harf said the conditions were that the shipment was to be received at a border crossing point, controlled by the Ukrainian government, that it passed appropriate customs clearances, that the Red Cross took custody and responsibility for the delivery in Ukraine, and that militia in the Luhansk region allowed safe access for the delivery of the aid.
“We do support this proposal… and call for its swift implementation,” Harf said, warning Moscow against trying to interfere with Ukrainian affairs “whether under the guise of humanitarian convoys or any other pretexts without Kiev’s permission.”
When asked whether the United States was concerned that the cargo was not what it seemed to be, the deputy spokeswoman responded by saying, “We don’t know. We do have concerns, and that’s why, as we’ve said today, if it goes through all of these steps then we will support this,”
“They [Kiev] have a plan in place that they feel comfortable with, we feel comfortable with it as well, and now Russians need to deliver,” she said.
A convoy of 280 trucks is expected to arrive at the Ukrainian border on Wednesday, carrying some 2,000 tons of relief aid contributed by Moscow and the Moscow Region.