17:21 13.08.2014

Ukrainian aid to be sent to eastern regions on Thursday - official

2 min read

The Ukrainian government is preparing humanitarian aid for the country's eastern regions that will be sent there on Thursday, August 14, said Iryna Heraschenko, the Ukrainian president's commissioner for the peaceful resolution of Donbas crisis.

"Once Ukraine had agreed the route, the logistics and other technical aspects with the Red Cross (International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC), we started forming our humanitarian convoy which will depart as early as tomorrow as part of a Red Cross international humanitarian mission to the affected regions," she wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

With regard to the Russian aid she wrote: "What will happen to the 280 Kamaz vehicles? If they contain humanitarian aid, it will be reloaded on the Ukrainian border for the Red Cross needs and it will be in this form only and under the Red Cross jurisdiction so that it can go to the affected regions. Not otherwise."

The presidential commissioner is unaware of what is inside those vehicles. "They could be empty, and their drivers - special-forces fighters. They could be carrying items banned from import. This is why this convoy will not make legal and official entry in Ukraine," Heraschenko said.

Meanwhile, on August 14 the Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food is set to send food trucks to the Luhansk region. "This convoy will go from Kyiv to Luhansk via Kharkiv probably tomorrow," Minister of Agrarian Policy Ihor Shvaika said at a briefing in Kyiv.

He said Ukraine is capable of providing its citizens with food. "At this time foodstuffs are being delivered to Luhansk. People do have something to eat there," the official said.

Shvaika said that grain and canned meat will be delivered to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Dairy-products supplies are in question since they require refrigerators. The minister stressed that the humanitarian aid must be prepared by this evening.

It was reported earlier that in the event of the humanitarian aid passing under its aegis, the ICRC will distribute it without the Ukrainian authorities' involvement.

Earlier on Wednesday Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the Russian humanitarian convoy will not be allowed into the Kharkiv region.

For his part, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said Kyiv can only accept humanitarian aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The Russian motorcade carrying humanitarian aid for residents of east Ukraine left Naro-Fominsk on August 12.