Remarks to the press by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, before the UN Security Council consultations on the situation in Ukraine
Q: So we have this upcoming meeting on Ukraine, what do think about it?
V.Churkin: I’m going to read the statement by Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation. You can look it up, it was issued about an hour ago.
Q:.Yesterday Ukrainian Ambassador drew parallels between what is happening now and what happened and led up to Russia-Georgia war in 2008.
V.Churkin: Don’t get engaged in acts of sabotage and terrorism – this is my good advice to my Ukrainian friend.
Q: Any comments on situation in Aleppo?
V.Churkin: We are working on it, discussing various modalities with the US and I hope we will get there in terms of better humanitarian situation in Aleppo.
Q: Are you getting close to a 48-hour humanitarian truce?
Q: What about the UN?
V.Churkin: UN is also engaged. We are all engaged at the various levels, discussing Castello Road, discussing the border, discussing the ways to provide humanitarian supplies.
Q: Did it work today? I thought I saw something that said the cease-fire didn’t happen today.
V.Churkin: There was an effort from our military to announce 3 hour daily suspensions of military activity. Incidentally I think there shouldn’t be confusion about that, because I heard that O’Brien said that it was not enough for the United Nations, but there’re two different things. He explained to us that it takes the United Nations 48 hours, they need to put things on trucks, they move them etc, etc. It may well be in terms of major humanitarian convoys, but you can see it even in our television that humanitarian supplies are coming into the city, the Syrian government is engaged in that. We are supporting them. For that kind of an effort 3‑hours may be sufficient to bring in some humanitarian supplies to the city. So, there are efforts on various levels.
Q: How did you come to 3 hours, I mean, why in 3 hours? It’s very short.
V.Churkin: The military, there are on the ground. It’s short, I don’t know what the calculus was, but it’s better than nothing, isn’t it?
Q: Ambassador, do you prefer to keep this effort on bilateral level?
V.Churkin: It’s not just bilateral. We are talking with the United Nations. Staffan De Mistura is involved personally and we are engaging them here as well. From the outset we said that we are prepared to talk with the United Nations and to take advantage of their expertise, of their presence on the ground. So, it’s a trilateral effort.