Russia seeks ‘humanitarian corridors’ in Ukraine

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IOL pic may23 lavrov russia ukraine

Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Picture: Maxim Shemetov

Moscow - Russia will submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council on Monday calling for an immediate end to worsening violence in Ukraine and the creation of humanitarian corridors in the east of the country, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Lavrov said that Western nations had assured Russia the situation in Ukraine would improve after its May 25 presidential election but that “everything is happening in exactly the opposite way”.

“People are dying every day. Peaceful civilians are suffering more and more - the army, military aviation and heavy weapons continue to be used against them,” he said when asked about Ukraine at a joint news conference after talks with his Mauritanian counterpart.

The draft resolution “will contain a demand for the immediate halt to violence and the beginning of actual negotiations with the aim of establishing a stable and reliable ceasefire”, Lavrov said.

It will also include “a demand for the creation, without delay, of humanitarian corridors though which peaceful civilians could leave combat zones if they wish”, he said. The text would also call for guarantees of unhindered access for humanitarian aid.

Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko and the pro-Western authorities in Kiev have defied Moscow's repeated calls for an end to the government's operation against armed separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border Russia.

Russia calls it a “punitive operation”, while Kiev says it is aimed at combating terrorists. - Reuters


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