GENEVA (Reuters) – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) held talks last month with Russian diplomats in Geneva on providing aid to areas of Ukraine under Russian military control but has yet to be granted access, the medical charity said on Thursday.
International aid organisations have been unable to reach large swathes of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces despite calls for Moscow to grant safe passage for aid to be delivered to civilians.
MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and the Russian diplomatic mission in Geneva had not announced their meeting, nor issued public statements on its outcome.
“Our discussion … concerned the areas of Ukraine under Russian military occupation, where we are aware of substantial medical humanitarian needs, including the lack of doctors, nurses and essential medicines,” MSF said in a statement.
“However, our teams have not yet been granted access to these areas. We continue to discuss this, and other points related to impartial medical humanitarian care in Ukraine.”
The Russian diplomatic outpost confirmed that talks had taken place but would not disclose the issues that were raised.
In Ukraine, MSF assists civilians near the front lines or those who have been forced to flee, including children and the elderly. It provides psychological support and essential relief to survivors of attacks, among other assistance.
The organisation said its discussions with both Ukrainian and Russian officials have been “consistent” since armed conflict erupted in Ukraine in 2014.
MSF has a smaller presence in Russia, where it supports existing efforts to provide medical care to people displaced by the war in Ukraine.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by John Stonestreet)
Source: Read Full Article