Eastern Ukraine is in need of humanitarian aid but the international community cannot trust Russia which has announced recently it is sending 280 trucks of aid to eastern Ukraine, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said on Tuesday.
© RIA/Scanpix

People in eastern Ukraine are suffering hardships "because of terrorists" and humanitarian aid can reach Ukrainians only via ways acceptable for Ukraine, the minister told BNS.

"People are in dire need of humanitarian aid, they have no power, water, basic consumer goods. Because of terrorists, people are cut off from normal life and we need to help them. All of that must be done following stringent coordination with the Ukrainian government, it must be an international mission involving the Red Cross," Linkevičius said.

His comments came in response to Russian media reports that 280 truck with "humanitarian aid" have left Moscow for eastern Ukraine. Western leaders, including the NATO secretary general, European Commission president and French foreign minister, have warned recently that Moscow might use a humanitarian mission as a pretext for invading Ukraine.

According to the Lithuanian foreign minister, trust in Russia has been undermined by the country's previous attempts to send military equipment to Ukraine under the humanitarian cover.

"We already have experience that we cannot trust Russia's statements. If the 280 repainted trucks are really bringing humanitarian aid and there's no military escort, following coordination with the Ukrainian government, that would be an understandable thing. But one can never be sure what's behind it. We still remember how armoured vehicles were repainted in the colours of the so-called peacekeepers and were waiting to cross the border," the minister told BNS.

"Everything that is taking place in Ukraine must take place with Ukraine's approval. If there's no Ukraine's approval, everything that is taking place can be seen as aggression, an act of aggression. It remains to be seen what's going to be next. When we know more details, we'll be able to evaluate," Linkevičius said.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Poland thanks Lithuania for naming Vilnius street after Kaczynski

Poland on Friday thanked Lithuania for naming a street in its capital Vilnius after late Polish...

Georgia to continue to seek integration with West after election - formin in Vilnius

Tbilisi will continue to seek integration into the West regardless of who wins next Sunday's...

Lithuanian-Polish interparlt assembly might take place this year, MP says

The Lithuanian-Polish interparliamentary assembly might gather as early as this year, Arvydas...

Polish ForMin urges Lithuania to scrap election threshold for ethnic minorities - Interview (1)

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz has called on Lithuania to amend its legislation so that...

Russian-language TV channel Current Time to be launched in Lithuania

The Vilnius TV Tower is starting on Friday to re transmit Current Time , a US-funded Russian-language...