Russia plans another aid convoy to Ukraine: Lavrov25 august 2014, 14:56
Moscow has informed Kiev that it intends to send a second humanitarian aid convoy into rebel-held eastern Ukraine in the coming days, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, AFP reports.
"We sent yesterday an official note to the Ukrainian foreign ministry with information about our intention to prepare the next convoy with humanitarian aid" including details about its planned contents, said Lavrov at a news conference.
Russia sent 230 lorries carrying what it claimed was 1,800 tonnes humanitarian aid to the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Lugansk without Red Cross monitors on Friday after accusing Kiev of intentionally delaying the mission.
Kiev and the West condemned the move but the trucks returned to Russia on Saturday without incident.
"We would like to agree on the conditions to send the convoy on the same route with the same participation of Ukrainian border guards and customs officers as soon as possible," said Lavrov.
"We are convinced that this needs to be done this week," he said, adding that the International Committee of the Red Cross and other organisations had warned about the worsening humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine.
Kiev's conflict with the pro-Russian rebels in the separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk has claimed more than 2,200 lives since April. There is mounting concern over civilian casualties as the government presses deeper into the last remaining rebel-held territories.