ICRC may take under its jurisdiction aid convoy in Ukraine’s territory
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is ready to take under its jurisdiction the humanitarian aid convoy from Russia for Ukraine’s southeast, if Russia and Ukraine agree on it, ICRC’s spokeswoman Galina Balzamova told reporters on Saturday.
“For that we should require an agreement between two parties - Russian and Ukrainian,” she said. “As far as we know, an agreement of the kind does not exist now.
She continued saying ICRC was aware about the finished tripartite meeting between Russian and Ukrainian customs, border control and ICRC.
“The meeting participants discussed various aspects of delivery of the humanitarian cargo, of how customs and border control will be organised,” she said.
The Russian side has presented a general list of the trucks’ contents, she said.
Ukraine refuses to acknowledge the cargo, delivered by Russian convoy, as humanitarian aid.
“It is important to receive permission from the Ukrainian side [for the convoy’s crossing its territory]. Now, the Ukrainian side refuses to acknowledge the cargo is a humanitarian mission,” she said.
She explained several conditions are to be observed to have the Red Cross control the convoy’s crossing the Ukrainian territory.
“All the parties involved should come to an agreement about conditions for the convoy to cross the territory of Ukraine, and ICRC staff should be guaranteed security as the Red Cross does not have its armed guard,” the spokeswoman said.
One of the variants to make sure the “white KAMAZ trucks” cross Ukraine, will be that every truck’s cabin had one Russian driver and one ICRC representative.
Since Friday afternoon, the convoy of the Russian humanitarian aid has been not far from the Izvarino check point at the border between Russia and Ukraine.
The convoy started on Tuesday.
“As an agreement is in place, we plan to deliver the humanitarian aid to civilians, who suffer from the conflict in eastern Ukraine, to medical institutions and charity organizations,” Corbaz said, adding in the situation where people have to live without basic things like electricity and water “efficiency is especially important.”
The Red Cross said Kiev also had sent a humanitarian convoy to the country’s eastern regions and asked ICRC to undertake distribution of the assistance. The Red Cross has sent additional staff to the town of Starobelsk near Lugansk, to where Ukraine’s 50 trucks had arrived on Saturday morning.