The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has confirmed its readiness to promote delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but such aid can be provided only in line with the basic principles of this organization – neutrality and independence, and rules out any armed escort, the ICRC said in a statement on August 11, which was made available to Ukrinform.
“In response to the latest initiative of the authorities of the Russian Federation to hand over humanitarian assistance to the ICRC in order to help people and areas affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine, the ICRC is ready to facilitate such an operation with the involvement, endorsement, and support of all sides concerned. Today the ICRC met with the Ukrainian and the Russian authorities and shared a document which specifies the manner in which such an operation could take place,” reads the document.
It notes that this includes the agreement by all sides that the ICRC will be allowed to deliver the aid with due respect for its fundamental working principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence.
The document also stipulates, among other matters, that prior to beginning of the operation, the ICRC should receive without undue delay from the Russian authorities all necessary details concerning the aid, including the volume and type of items, and requirements for transport and storage.
All parties must also guarantee the security of ICRC staff and vehicles, for the entire duration of the operation, in view of the fact that the organization does not accept armed escorts.
“The practical details of this operation need to be clarified before this initiative can move forward,” Laurent Corbaz, the ICRC’s head of operations for Europe and Central Asia, said.