Russian Federation: ICRC president completes talks in Moscow
08-10-2013 News Release 13/164
Geneva/Moscow (ICRC) – ICRC president Peter Maurer has today completed a two-day official visit to Moscow. Discussions focused on the humanitarian situation in Syria and Afghanistan, the ICRC's work in those two countries, and the ICRC’s priorities in the Russian Federation. Mr Maurer met prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Puchkov (minister of civil defence, emergencies and disaster relief), deputy foreign affairs minister Gennady Gatilov and other officials. He also met the leadership of the Russian Red Cross.
"We have regular dialogue with the Russian Federation on the humanitarian situation in countries such as Syria and Afghanistan, and my visit was an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern," said Mr Maurer. “We value Russia’s diplomatic and financial support for our operations in Syria. One important objective of my visit was to see how Russia could use its influence to help us reach more victims in the country, as access to those in need is a major challenge for us in Syria.”
Mr Maurer also discussed the role of the ICRC in a changing humanitarian situation in the northern Caucasus. "The ICRC has worked in the northern Caucasus for more than twenty years, and we will continue to address long-term needs," he explained. "This will include supporting the families of missing persons and strengthening our partnership with the Russian Red Cross, particularly in the fields of disaster preparedness and restoring family links."
During discussions with prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, Mr Maurer noted a mutual interest in the development and implementation of international humanitarian law, particularly with regard to such topics as drones and cyber warfare. These discussions can be developed at the Saint Petersburg Legal Forum, an annual event that brings together members of the judiciary, officials and legal experts.
The ICRC and the Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief agreed to develop international cooperation on humanitarian demining, weapon contamination and emergency medical aid. Concrete proposals will be worked out in the nearest future.
"I hope that dialogue with Russian authorities and their understanding of the neutral, independent and non-political nature of ICRC action worldwide will continue to bring concrete results for people in need," concluded the ICRC president.
For further information, please contact:
Victoria Zotikova, ICRC Moscow, tel: +7 495 626 5426 or +7 903 545 3934
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 79 251 93 02