Following a phone call between EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, both agreed to send a convoy with the assistance of the Red Cross, Poroshenko said on Monday. Luhansk is one of two areas controlled by pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine. The civilian population is facing severe shortages as government forces encircle rebel fighters. In a statement, Poroshenko said: “A large number of parties are ready to participate in the process to reach a settlement of the crisis in eastern Ukraine.” He added that he hoped the “issue of Ukraine” would be discussed at an EU meeting at the end of the month. Barroso said he supported Poroshenko’s “humanitarian mission.” He announced 2.5 million euros in humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
The commission president also held separate talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. According to a statement, he urged Russia "to use its influence to ensure that civilian populations could safely and freely leave areas of conflict controlled by illegal armed groups."
United States President Barack Obama has discussed the planned aid missions to eastern Ukraine with the country’s President Petro Poroshenko.
A statement from the Ukrainian presidency said Monday’s telephone conversation focused on organizing aid to Luhansk with the assistance of the Red Cross, the European Union, Russia and Germany.
At least 1,500 people have been killed during the three-month conflict after separatists declared their intention to break away from Ukraine.