The question of the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to Ukraine's Donbass has finally been agreed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"Finally, all the questions, many of which were imposed largely artificially, have been solved. Everything has been coordinated with both the Ukrainian side, and the International Committee of the Red Cross," the minister said, Interfax reports.
The agreement was reached at the meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and the Ukraine in Berlin. The meeting was devoted to the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.
Lavrov also said that the Ukrainian troops have stepped up the shelling of the areas, where the Russian humanitarian aid was to be delivered, ITAR-TASS reports. "We have reaffirmed our Russian position, which says that there should be unconditional cease-fire, and this was repeatedly declared. The Ukrainian colleagues, unfortunately, continue to set forth various conditions, and rather vague ones, including, as they say, the need to ensure the impermeability of borders," said Lavrov.
According to him, Russia has "nothing against most effective control of the border crossing regime," and "we do everything possible," Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister assured that Washington could get things off the ground. "Unfortunately, the United States was not represented at the meeting in Berlin, but we also send a signal to our partners in Washington to show influence on the Kiev authorities to stop this fratricidal war, and then start the negotiation process," said Sergei Lavrov.
Meanwhile, shortly before Lavrov's speech, the ICRC issued a statement: "We are waiting for security guarantees from all parties. Currently, we not received such guarantees."
The trucks with humanitarian aid from Russia expect Red Cross representatives at the Izvarino-Donetsk checkpoint. It is assumed that the transfer of goods will take place in portions of 30 vehicles after the border and customs control. OSCE Representative Paul Ricard said that OSCE experts would inspect the content of the Russian humanitarian convoy, possibly Monday or Tuesday, August 18-19.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia