Two Russia aid planes land in Syria
This handout image released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 15, 2014 shows a Russian airplane carrying aid, including food and medical supplies, at Bassel al-Assad International Airport in Latakia, western Syria.
The aircraft landed at Bassel al-Assad International Airport on Saturday.
The planes carry 80 tonnes of humanitarian aid provided by Russia, according to Syrian media.
“The Russian Federation … (has) sent another humanitarian aid with basic necessities and food for civilians. This equipment is designed to deploy the tent camps…,” said Major General Igor Konashenkov, the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The cargo consists of tons of humanitarian aid, including mattresses, blankets, beds, and stoves for heating tents, kitchens for cooking, bedding and tanks for water supply. The cargo also includes cereals, canned goods, condensed milk and baby food.
“All humanitarian goods, after delivery, were at once transferred to the civilian authorities in the region to help local people affected by the fighting,” said Konashenkov.
Russia hails Greece’s stance
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry has praised the government of Greece for not closing its airspace to Russian planes carrying humanitarian aid to Syria. The foreign ministry of the NATO member state said last week that it had received a request from the United States to shut its territory to Russian aircraft.
Last week, Bulgaria also closed its airspace to Russian cargo planes with relief aid for Syria over “reasonable doubts the cargoes are not the declared ones.”
Russian diplomats argue that Washington is putting pressure on countries to close air routes on Russian planes en route from Moscow to Damascus.
above – Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
“Greece’s clear and unambiguous position is noteworthy. Despite attempts to influence Athens from the outside so that it should withdraw its permission to pass through its airspace given on August 31, the Greek authorities did not yield to this pressure and refused to revise their decision,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
“We have already commented recently on the position assumed by Bulgaria’s authorities, which groundlessly prohibited Russian planes from flying through its airspace to deliver humanitarian cargo to the civilian population of Syria,” she said.