MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is sending humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine in cooperation with the independence supporters, as the Kiev authorities are not collaborating with Moscow in that field, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
“We are trying to send humanitarian aid to those who did not leave the military zone, and late May we have sent a special request to the Ukrainian authorities to get the permission to deliver such aid,” Lavrov said.
Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe Secretary General Lamberto Zannier during the meeting with the Russian foreign minister said he was concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, hoping that the violence in the eastern region would subside and that dialogue would start in the coming days.
Lavrov said Kiev has officially refused to accept Russia’s humanitarian aid.
“That’s why we are delivering aid through the independence supporters who are concerned about how their wives, children, fathers and mothers are surviving these difficulties,” Lavrov said.
Moscow hopes Kiev agrees to cooperate in this sphere.
“I repeat that we are interested that this work is put into an acceptable systematic basis. We are ready for this,” Lavrov said.
Russian Emergency Minister Vladimir Puchkov said last week Russia was ready to assist Ukraine with humanitarian aid but received no such request from the Ukrainian authorities.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said earlier that Moscow was surprised by Kiev’s rejection of proposed Russian aid to violence-hit eastern Ukraine and hoped that the interim government would reconsider its decision.
The ministry earlier this month notified Ukraine it was ready to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to eastern regions, where clashes between nationalist and self-defense forces have been the sharpest, leading to hundreds of deaths, including among civilians.
In response to growing tensions in Ukraine’s eastern regions, the interim Ukrainian government launched a punitive operation to crack down on the protesters in mid-April.