17 Mar 2022 23:38

ICRC in contact with Russian Defense Ministry on organization of humanitarian corridors in Ukraine - ICRC head

KYIV. March 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is maintaining direct contacts with the Russian Defense Ministry regarding the organization of humanitarian corridors in Ukraine, ICRC President Peter Maurer said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine and the Ukraine 24 television channel.

"From the Russian side, we are keeping in touch with the Defense Ministry, which has provided us with contacts of high-ranking officers who are charge of actions in Ukraine," Maurer said.

"I definitely saw positive steps," he said, when asked by Interfax-Ukraine about how effective these contacts are and whether it was possible to open a particular humanitarian corridor thanks to them.

"I would like to note that this work is indispensable. The Red Cross is in direct contact with the Russian and Ukrainian parties. In this regard, I definitely saw positive steps, in particular, in maintaining more direct contacts between Ukraine and Russia. For example, you saw a major evacuation operation from Sumy. This is an important message that the work is producing results. But, nevertheless, I have to admit that it does not always work and that there is still a lot to do to achieve results," he said.

However, Maurer noted that the ICRC is cooperating with the Russian Red Cross to assist refugees in Russia.

"We are working with the Russian Red Cross to help refugees in Russia. So far, there has been no need to provide them with substantial support. We are in constant contact, and if the need arises, we will provide support, but as of now, our priority is to step up our activities in Ukraine," the president of the humanitarian organization said.