ICRC responds to appeal to help with aid to East Ukraine
Moscow 1 August 2014
The International Committee of the Red Cross is ready to co-operate on the issue of removing children from the zone of conflict in Ukraine
Red Cross representative Bruno Uskine has responded to the call from Russian civil rights defenders for co-operation in aid of children present in the area of conflict in south-eastern Ukraine.
Earlier Ella Pamfilova, commissioner for human rights in the Russian Federation (RF), the
executive director of Just Aid, Elizaveta Glinka, and the chair of the presidential council on the development of civil society and human rights, Mikhail Fedotov, appeared together to advocate the creation of safety corridors whereby sick children could be removed from the conflict zone to medical institutions in Russia. Later, President Putin promised to co-operate in the process of facilitating contact between the council and the Ukrainian authorities.. The appeal made by the civil rights defenders was addressed in particular to international human rights and humanitarian organisations. In reply Bruno Uskine wrote back to Mr Fedotov, saying: ‘We would like to reply to your approach made to our colleagues in Geneva without delay and establish direct contact with you in Moscow. There is no question but that the situation in Ukraine is cause for widespread serious anxiety and the international committee continues to expand its activities and operations. We wish to take the opportunity of discussing these issues further in Moscow and to enter into dialogue with your esteemed institution.’ Ms Glinka and Ms Pamfilova received similar letters.
Mr Uskine pointed out that the international committee could take part in the evacuation of civilians only if both sides to the conflict in Ukraine agreed. Furthermore, a number of conditions would have to be observed if the humanitarian organisation were to be able to fulfil the function of a neutral intermediary during the evacuation process.
Author: Georgy Ivanushkin