No humanitarian crisis in Ukraine: UN aid chief
United Nations: Ukraine has said it faces no humanitarian crisis, as Russia claims, and the UN aid chief appeared to agree.
When asked whether Ukraine has a humanitarian aid crisis, Valerie Amos replied yesterday, "Not as far as I`m aware."
Russia on Monday surprised diplomats by introducing a Security Council resolution that called for humanitarian aid corridors in troubled eastern Ukraine. Some diplomats were privately dismayed that Russia asked for this while opposing the creation of humanitarian corridors in Syria, its close ally.
The United States immediately denounced the resolution as "hypocritical".
Diplomats this week discussed asking the UN to investigate Russia`s claims.
The resolution expresses "grave concern" at "the dire situation of thousands of civilians trapped in besieged areas" in Russian-speaking southeastern Ukraine.
It also demands an immediate halt to deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine, where government troops have been fighting pro-Russian insurgents for weeks. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has said the violence will worsen the political situation for Ukraine`s president-elect, Petro Poroshenko.
Ukraine`s UN Ambassador, Yuriy Sergeyev, insisted yesterday that Russia`s proposed resolution is not necessary. "The resolution was drafted by a country that recently annexed a big part of our territory," Sergeyev said. "There`s a double standard, as they are very restrained on a new draft resolution on Syria, where the humanitarian crisis so obvious."
Sergeyev also told reporters that outside groups, including the Red Cross, have confirmed there is no humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
"Ukrainian security forces are not besieging civilians," he added.
The spokesman for the UN secretary-general said the UN had not received any request from either Russia or Ukraine for the delivery of international aid to the region.
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