MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - Humanitarian assistance is needed for Ukraine's eastern regions, but humanitarian convoys cannot solve the problem of restoring financial and economic ties there, rather it is necessary to focus efforts on the process of execution of agreements made in Minsk, Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the human rights council under Russian President Vladimir Putin, told RIA Novosti Saturday.
"Of course, humanitarian aid is what is currently needed in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, since infrastructure has been destroyed and the people are suffering from a lack of basic necessities, including medicines. We know this is not according to media reports, since the members of the council are in those regions with the humanitarian mission on a regular basis," Fedotov said.
However, humanitarian convoys from Russia alone cannot solve the problem of economic recovery in the region. The restoration of normal fiscal relations is up to the region and Ukraine, said the head of the council.
"It is very important to step up the process of execution of Minsk agreements in order to restore normal economic relations enabling state employees to receive salaries, pensioners to receive pensions, and mothers to receive child benefits. No Russian convoys can solve these problems," said Fedotov.
On September 5, a trilateral contact group met in Minsk to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The meeting resulted in a series of agreements between the Ukrainian government and the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk including an "all for all" prisoner exchange, additional humanitarian convoys from Russia to eastern Ukraine, and a ceasefire which began at 15:00 GMT the day of the meeting.