MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) — A truck convoy with Russian humanitarian aid will depart shortly to eastern Ukraine under the aegis of the Emergencies Ministry, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"The convoy will depart directly to the region very soon," Peskov said.
The spokesman confirmed that the mission will be carried out without any involvement of the Russian military.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in a phone call earlier on Monday that the Russian side, in cooperation with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, is sending a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine.
Russia initially came up with a proposal to dispatch an international humanitarian mission, with Russian humanitarian aid under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross to Ukraine's troubled eastern regions last Tuesday at the UN Security Council.
Since that time, the proposal has been widely discussed by political leaders of the world's leading countries. The initiative welcomed by the International Committee of the Red Cross was called into question by a number of Western countries. The United States, Canada, Britain and Germany argued that Russian humanitarian aid should only be delivered to Ukraine after Moscow secured Kiev's consent, otherwise it would be "unjustified and illegal".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday called on the West not to impede the delivery of urgent humanitarian aid to eastern Ukrainian regions, which, as he earlier stated, are under threat of a humanitarian catastrophe.
The minister sharply criticized the recent statements of London, Washington and Berlin officials that eastern Ukraine does not require humanitarian assistance, despite the worsening situation in the regions, caught in armed clashes between Kiev-led forces and independence supporters.