In the history of Russian-Ukrainian relations, August 12 was remembered as the anniversary of one very significant event. On this day in 2014, the first column of the so-called "humanitarian convoy" passed from Russia to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, Report informs referring to an article by Caliber.Az.
Eight days before this event, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, sent an official appeal to the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UN with a proposal to organize an international humanitarian mission to the conflict zone. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Russia had repeatedly tried to send a convoy with humanitarian aid through the Ministry of Emergency Situations, but each time was refused by the Ukrainian authorities.
On August 6, at the initiative of Russia, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, the late Vitaly Churkin, voiced a proposal to send Russian humanitarian convoys to Donetsk and Luhansk under the auspices and accompanied by representatives of the ICRC. Ukraine and a number of Western countries - permanent members of the UN Security Council - didn't support this proposal. In particular, the US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that - attention! - the United States will consider Russia's unilateral operation to deliver humanitarian aid to Ukraine a direct invasion. Didier Burkhalter, who was then chairman of the OSCE, said that humanitarian aid must be delivered with full respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Canadians also stated that Russia is once again demonstrating its desire to ignore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. However...
It is very important to pay attention and remember all these details, because nine years later history will repeat itself, this time in Karabakh and now in the form of a farce. The Western countries now "sing" completely different "songs". However, we will talk about this later.
From the very beginning, there were reasonable suspicions in the world that the Russian special services would try to use the humanitarian sign to supply weapons. The European Commission tried to prevent the sending of humanitarian cargo, warning Russia against any unilateral military action against Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian. On August 5, another meeting of the UN Security Council took place, at which the British Permanent Representative to the UN, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, said: "It is deeply ironic that Russia is convening an emergency meeting of the Council to discuss a humanitarian crisis, largely of its own creation."
Kyiv set a number of conditions for Russia: Ukrainian politicians insisted that the delivery of aid should take place exclusively under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross or relevant international organizations and in the absence of any accompaniment from the Russian law enforcement agencies. Kyiv demanded to organize customs clearance of cargo on the Russian-Ukrainian border and reload it onto Ukrainian cars - otherwise, the Ukrainian authorities refused to let the convoy through. The Kremlin rejected these conditions and... tried to break through by force, and the Ukrainian border and customs group, which had left to inspect cargo, was unexpectedly blocked at the Russian checkpoint "Donetsk".
Sending a convoy of so-called "humanitarian cargo" without the official consent of Ukraine was regarded in the world as a violation of sovereignty and, in fact, an act of aggression. This issue has even become the subject of a special investigation in the UN Security Council.
What is important in this whole story is not so much WHAT was sent to Donetsk and Luhansk (although after this so-called "humanitarian aid" the military successes of the separatists became noticeable), but the very fact of neglecting the sovereignty of Ukraine under the guise of a "humanitarian disaster". Another thing is also curious: throughout the summer of 2014, Kyiv offered to send the same convoys with humanitarian aid to the rebellious Donetsk and Luhansk, in the formation of which international organizations, including the ICRC, volunteered to help. However, the pro-Kremlin separatists who had seized power in the region predictably rejected this assistance, saying that they would receive "humanitarian aid" not from the west, but from the east, that is, from Russia.
Doesn't it remind you of anything?
The most important thing in this whole story was the unconditional support by Western countries for the just position of Ukraine, its sovereignty and efforts to curb secessionist tendencies inspired from outside, that is, from Russia, in the rebellious eastern regions, including the creation of a land connection uncontrolled by Kyiv with the center of curation of separatism. These same Western countries called on the regional authorities to accept assistance from the central government of Ukraine instead of Russia. None of them put pressure on Kyiv to open the road, make the passage through the Russian border uncontrolled, and make the border itself transparent. On the contrary, Moscow has been criticized for its support of centrifugal forces and its obstruction of integration into Ukraine.
Of course, we understand that in the arsenal of these countries there are many things that, if desired, can be categorized as #this is a different thing. But, nevertheless, as we noted above, the tragedy of 9 years ago is now being replaced by a farce. Armenia is now playing the role of Russia, sending corpse trucks with incomprehensible "humanitarian" cargo to the Azerbaijani region, without the consent of Baku, as if it were their home. And Azerbaijan plays the role of Ukraine.
So what happened, gentlemen? From which side did the sun rise, that in exactly the same situation, the same US, the EU countries suddenly changed their principles by 180 degrees? Azerbaijan is ready, like Ukraine 9 years ago, to let foreign convoys into its region only along the route that it considers necessary. What difference does it make to you how to get there? Carry the same cargo to the same Karabakh, but on the road that the government will indicate to you and with proper customs clearance in accordance with national legislation. Exactly as you yourself insisted nine years ago in Ukraine. What suddenly changed in your approaches?
The parallel drawn is just one of many examples of double standards of countries tearing their shirts and beating their chests in the name of false humanitarian values. Why are our Western partners hiding their heads in the sand when the Azerbaijanis tell them about the thirty-year blockade of Nakhchivan? Why don’t they demand from Yerevan to lift this blockade and open the way for the delivery of food and necessary goods to this exclave? We failed with skin color, or maybe with religion? Or something else? You tell us, and we promise to understand. After all, the situations are very similar, but your approaches are diametrically opposed. After all, we see everything and adequately evaluate it.
And so we make our own decisions. Without extraneous advice, especially from those who, in general, have not decided on their own standards.