The Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Finland took note of the information in the “YLE” article (http://bit.ly/1LFk6tg) on “Finland Novorossija aid organization”. In this regard the Embassy would like to state the following.
The illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and military activities of the armed groups of terrorists on the temporary occupied territories of eastern Ukraine with the support of the regular units of the Russian armed forces resulted in hardships, suffering and deaths of civilian population of Ukraine and those who protect its independence.
The growing importance of providing an adequate humanitarian assistance, medical treatment and rehabilitation for IDPs and Ukrainian military personnel consolidates the efforts of the respective Ukrainian governmental institutions as well as NGOs and civil society organizations.
This issue has gained international support as well as many partner countries’, including Finland, offering humanitarian aid, medical treatment and rehabilitation programs for Ukrainians in need, showing true solidarity and providing direct assistance to Ukraine.
Ukraine is doing its utmost to alleviate a dire humanitarian situation in the militants-controlled areas and in the combat zone. To assist those in need, hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid from Ukraine and foreign partners have been sent to these areas. On February 24, the Government of Ukraine and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs launched a Humanitarian Response Plan 2015 for Ukraine which targets 3.2 million most vulnerable persons out of 5 million estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance across the country.
At the same time, Russia and Russia-backed militants continue blocking delivery of Ukrainian and international humanitarian aid and occasionally obstructing the evacuation of the civilian population. Through August 2014-August 2015, Russia has sent 36 so-called “humanitarian aid convoys” (22 of them since February 12, 2015). The arrival of almost each convoy coincides with further escalation. Despite achieved agreements, Russia keeps ignoring a commitment on engaging an international mechanism for delivery and distribution of its humanitarian aid.
It should be stressed that, despite a covering-up with the idea of humanitarian assistance, the donations to “Novorosija” are channeled to the illegally armed groups and terrorist fighters operating in the area. According to the latest reports, aid donations are collected in cooperation with the so-called “Novorossijan aid organization”. It is obvious, that these activities clearly contradict with the Finnish Government`s policy of non-recognition of any self-proclaimed entities in the east of Ukraine and tarnish image of numerous Finnish aid organizations.
It should be also noted, that the website of the Embassy of Ukraine in Finland contains a special chapter describing the mechanism of provision of humanitarian aid to Ukrainian population affected by the consequences of Russian aggression in Ukraine (http://bit.ly/1KLPupD). We are grateful to the Government of Finland for providing humanitarian aid to our country and to the Finnish people who have already donated or plan to donate.
Ukraine demands Russia to immediately unblock delivery of Ukrainian and international humanitarian aid; secure delivery of its aid via a legitimate international mechanism only and through the border checkpoints controlled by Ukraine with full engagement of the ICRC.