Kazakhstan has sent $400,000 worth of aid to Ukraine's southeastern regions to help ease the humanitarian crisis following months of military conflict, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said this weekend, inform.kz reports.
Railway cars carrying canned meat, sugar, buckwheat and vegetable oil were delivered on Jan. 9 to Severodonestsk, a town near the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Ukraine's State Service of Emergency Situations and the administration of Luhansk Oblast received the aid in the presence of Kazakh officials and local and international NGOs, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, foxnews reports.
"Ukraine is experiencing a difficult time ... and in this situation, Kazakhstan cannot stay indifferent," a senior official from the Kazakh Embassy in Ukraine said, explaining the motive for Astana's decision to send aid.
The deputy head of the Luhansk Oblast state administration, Olga Lishik, expressed Ukraine's gratitude to the people of Kazakhstan for their assistance.
"This is serious support for us, including the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, where military action is taking place and the civil population suffers. We are grateful that (Kazakh) President (Nursultan) Nazarbayev initiated the aid," she said.
The aid shipment included 127,875 cans of meat, 40 tons of sugar, 150 tons of buckwheat and 36,000 liters of vegetable oil, among other essential items, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.
In October 2014, Kazakhstan donated $30,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross's humanitarian effort in Ukraine.
President Nazarbayev discussed the humanitarian aid issue with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, during his visit to Kiev on Dec. 22.
Later, the Kazakh leader confirmed his willingness to host the next round of meetings between leaders of the so-called Normandy Four - Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France - in the Kazakh capital, Astana, in mid-January "or at any other convenient time for the parties."