Following Russia’s announcement that it would be involved with the Red Cross in delivering humanitarian aid to Ukraine, questions surfaced on whether the action was unilateral, or with international support, or if the action would simply serve as a pretext to invade the country.
The ‘humanitarian’ convoy will specifically be aid for the city of Luhansk, delivered by international agents.
It will not include soldiers, and in addition to Ukrainian approval, has the backing of U.S. President Barack Obama, AP confirmed.
“I hope that in the very nearest future this humanitarian action will take place under the authority of the Red Cross,” Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said.
“We’ve agreed on all details with the Ukrainian leadership,” Lavrov reiterated.
Source in Poroshenko administration: No Russian convoy. Will be aid for Luhansk through int’l components. Russia included, but no soldiers.
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) August 11, 2014
Humanitarian aid convoy to Ukraine will not include soldiers, Kremlin just told me. Obama & Poroshenko have backed convoy w/ EU & Red Cross — Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) August 11, 2014
President Poroshenko issued a statement on his Facebook account, acknowledging the action which will include the EU, the United States, Russia, Germany and other partners:
The Donbas requires international assistance, because the terrorists deliberately destroyed the entire infrastructure of the region
Meanwhile, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Kyiv said they did not know anything about the humanitarian convoy set to enter the country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) then issued a statement on its website:
Due to the complex humanitarian and social situation in the Donbas, Ukraine President Poroshenko took the initiative to send to Luhansk Oblast an international humanitarian aid mission. In addition to goods, prepared by the Ukrainian side, the mission will also include an international component and, in particular, humanitarian assistance provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States, the EU and Russia.
Admission of humanitarian goods to Ukraine will be subject to the legislation of Ukraine and international law, and subject to the measures used by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine and the whole world community. Logistical support of the international humanitarian relief mission, including its delivery and distribution, will be provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Ukraine. It is important that humanitarian aid be distributed exclusively among the civilian population of Luhansk region, which for a long time suffered from the actions of illegal armed groups and terrorism.