Russia has sent a humanitarian convoy to the east of Ukraine, considering that it has received official authorization of Kiev government, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.
The corresponding note was received on August 12, Churkin said, noting that the humanitarian aid to Syria was delivered without the consent of the authorities of the country.
“If we are talking about respect for sovereignty, we have received a formal agreement from them [the Ukrainian authorities]. We have discussed this issue with them, and if they decided to cheat, then it’s their problem,” Churkin told Russian reporters after the closed meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine on Friday.
The note that gave consent for the passage of the humanitarian convoy through the Ukrainian border was received on 12 August, Churkin said.
Meanwhile both President Obama and Angela Merkel condemned Russia for an “incursion” into Ukraine.
“And the fact that they have people saying they received no orders, while firing at Luhansk, is just unfair. We cannot tolerate this and so we’ve made a statement,” the permanent representative said.
Churkin also recalled that the UN Security Council had recently created “a legal innovation,” when it had adopted a resolution on the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria without the consent of the government in Damascus.
“There is a certain political innovation that cannot be ignored, but in this case, we believe that we have received the official consent of the Ukrainian government,” Churkin explained.
“Some members of the organization were not interested neither in the fact that civilians are being killed in the eastern Ukraine, nor in the fact that there is a humanitarian catastrophe in the region. They were worried by the fact that Russia is providing humanitarian assistance to the people who are under fire,” the Russian envoy to UN said.
“But we explained that we are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities and hope that there will be no problems with humanitarian aid and its delivery. The situation in the Security Council around this matter has then calmed down,” Churkin said.
A convoy of 280 trucks carrying food, medicine and other essentials for people in eastern Ukraine set out from near Moscow on August 12. It had been stranded at the border with Ukraine for more than a week.
The humanitarian disaster in Lugansk occurred after the Ukrainian army had blocked approaches to the city. All food supplies to Lugansk were interrupted. The local people were left without drinking water or electricity. Power supply to social facilities had to be urgently restored after artillery shelling.