Kyiv, August 12, 2014. Russia continues to impose a reign of terror on the Ukrainian people, and the Kremlin’s attempts to deliver unapproved aid to eastern Ukraine are subverting Ukrainian law. This was stated by Danylo Lubkivsky, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister, during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The delivery of aid and humanitarian assistance to eastern Ukraine would be unnecessary if it weren’t for Russia’s support of terrorism in the country, noted the official, emphasizing that any humanitarian aid to Ukraine must comply with Ukrainian legislation and international agreements. “Let me be clear, you don’t tanks and artillery to bring food and medicine to civilians,” he said.
The Russian government is running out of excuses to justify aggression, and Russia’s calls for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine are incredibly cynical. Russia is stoking the conflict in Ukraine, and then undermining Ukrainian law by attempting to deliver aid without the consent of Ukrainian authorities. Contrary to reports from Russia, Ukraine has not approved of aid delivery from the Russian Federation. Any humanitarian assistance that is delivered to Ukraine must be approved by the proper Ukrainian authorities. Lubkivsky added that any cargo must also come through Ukrainian border crossings. Any foreign convoy that comes to Ukraine without this approval, and without a pre-approved list of necessary items, is unacceptable to Ukraine. He stressed that the Ukrainian government is currently working with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the international community to come to an agreement on the supply of necessary assistance to the country.
Lubkivsky also discussed the plight of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens. “At least 350 people are held hostage by Russian terrorists and in some instances by Russia itself,” Lubkivsky stated. The Ukrainians detained in Russia, including servicewoman Nadiya Savchenko, are held on completely fabricated charges. The deputy foreign minister described Russia’s behavior as completely unacceptable in the twenty-first century, and said that Ukrainian authorities and consulate workers will do everything in their power to seek the release of illegally detained Ukrainians.
The Russian Federation abuses human rights and doesn’t respect the freedom of speech of its own citizens, Lubkivsky explained. The Russian government is using propaganda through the media to justify the country’s isolation from the international community, which is the result of Russian aggression. He called on the international community to support Ukraine and democracy against aggression, asking more countries to join the sanction policy against Russia. “Let us stand strong together for our values and freedoms,” said the Ukrainian official.