United Nations, August 22 2014
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin today confirmed that the first trucks from the Russian humanitarian convoy had reached the city of Lugansk.
Churkin told reporters in New York that it had “became clear” that Ukrainians were “procrastinating” and border “kept saying that they had no orders to allow the entry of that humanitarian convoy into the Ukrainian territory.”
He said that given the “pressing need for human assistance” and the fact that some of the goods were perishable, “a decision was taken” and “the convoy departed.”
In an exchange with Voice of America correspondent Margaret Besheer who asked whether “this aid convoy is really an effort to resupply their pro-Russian separatist rebels,” Churkin, said “the United States do not have monopoly to humanism, we are all human. So, if you are trying to question our humanism, I would resent that.”
Immediately after the Russian Ambassador’s press briefing, Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksandr Pavlichenko also spoke to reporters.
Pavlichenko said “today Russia has began transportation of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, ignoring establishing international rules, procedures and agreements without the consent and escort of International Committee of the Red Cross, as it was agreed preliminary.”
He said these actions constituted “a blatant violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine international law.”
The Ukrainian Ambassador said “we, as a government, can provide security and safety to the cargo when it is moving in the territory controlled by the central government and we cannot provide full security to the convoy in the territory controlled by terrorists.”
In a written statement, Secretary-General expressed “deep concern” at the reports of the Russian aid convoy crossing the border into Ukraine without the permission of the Ukrainian authorities.
The statement said that “while recognising the deteriorating humanitarian situation, any unilateral action has the potential of exacerbating an already dangerous situation in eastern Ukraine.”
The Secretary-General urged all sides, “in particular Ukraine and the Russian Federation, to continue to work together, in coordination with the international community, to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches the most affected areas.