MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is interested in remaining a donor of humanitarian aid for the residents of eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“Representatives of the International Red Cross literally announced yesterday that they are ready to expand their activities as a whole in eastern Ukraine and plan on increasing the volume of their operations. Operations by the International Red Cross are realized with the active participation of donors and Russia is interested in remaining one of those donors,” Lavrov said during a briefing.
Lavrov said that Russia had sent an official diplomatic note informing Ukraine of its plans to send an additional humanitarian convoy within the next few days.
Earlier in August, Russia sent a humanitarian convoy to eastern Ukraine under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The convoy included 227 trucks carrying about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid.
The journey of the convoy was complicated by the Ukrainian government accusing Moscow of allegedly violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, despite having previously granted the passage for the convoy.
The convoy arrived at the Russian-Ukrainian border on August 14 but entered Ukraine only a week later, as Kiev had been postponing its final approval for the trucks to pass through. The convoy eventually managed to deliver the humanitarian aid to the troubled regions of Ukraine, with all trucks arriving back to Russia by August 23.
Since mid-April, the Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation seeking to suppress the independence supporters in the southeast of Ukraine. The latter refused to acknowledge the new government instated after the February 22 coup.