MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russia insists that its decision to speed up humanitarian cargo delivery to eastern Ukraine without waiting for Kiev’s formal approval was morally right and fully in line with the international norms, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.
“We act fully in line with norms of the international humanitarian law,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement.
“We cannot and will not tolerate the plight of people living in protesting South-Eastern Ukraine,” the deputy foreign minister added.
“We are sure that we did the right thing. And we accuse Kiev and its backers of repeatedly putting their political interests, which are anti-Russian in essence, above the basic human values of kindness and compassion,” Ryabkov continued.
Kiev authorities took every possible step to hinder the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“It was Kiev, obviously backed by its Western patrons, which was doing everything to hamper the vital humanitarian mission in the past days,” Ryabkov said.
“Until the very last moment Kiev, apparently, hoped that this deliberate time-wasting would have the desired effect. Ukrainian authorities needed time to finish the military operation to suppress the protest of their people, by covering with blood and tears the place, where Russian humanitarian aid is being distributed. It didn’t work out,” the deputy foreign minister concluded.
Earlier in the day, several dozens of Russian trucks carrying humanitarian aid to violence-torn Luhansk and Donetsk regions crossed the border with Ukraine allegedly without clearance by Ukrainian customs officials and without escort provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The first trucks in the Russian humanitarian convoy arrived in Luhansk, according to local independence supporters.
Moscow said Ukrainian authorities had been holding up for days the delivery of humanitarian aid to the trapped civilians in besieged Luhansk.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier today that Kiev’s dragging on the process of delivering Russian humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine seemed to be an attempt to create a situation when there is no one left to be helped.
A convoy of 280 Kamaz trucks carrying food, medicines and other essentials for population of eastern Ukraine left the Moscow region on August 12. It had been stranded at the border with Ukraine for more than a week.