MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia said Saturday its humanitarian assistance mission to turbulent eastern Ukraine had complied with the International Court of Justice ruling that allowed for the delivery of humanitarian aid to people disregarding their political convictions.
“In its actions in southeastern Ukraine Russia strictly abided by international principles, such as humanity and [the need to] protect the civil population from the aftermath of the war,” it said in a statement.
The ministry pointed to the paragraph 242 of the International Justice Court’s ruling dated June 27, 1986 stipulating that humanitarian aid “cannot be regarded as unlawful intervention.”
On Friday, a 280-truck Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid crossed into Ukraine and delivered the cargo to Luhansk, a city besieged by the Ukrainian army and struggling without regular food supplies, fresh water and electricity.
Luhansk People's Republic authorities said that distribution of Russian humanitarian aid is due to start Saturday, adding that Luhansk residents hope for more assistance from Russia.
The trucks brought grain, water, baby food, medicine, sleeping bags and electricity generators to the affected region.
Russia’s action prompted anger in Kiev and a number of Western countries who accused Moscow of a military intervention and violation of Ukraine’s borders.
The Russian ambassador to UN, Vitaly Churkin, responded saying the trucks had been stranded at the border for a week, despite the authorities in Kiev giving the mission a go-ahead on August 12. He accused Kiev of dragging its feet on allowing aid to Luhansk and stressed Russia had to act to save perishable goods for the city’s struggling population.