MOSCOW, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Moscow and Kiev have traded fire over the former's proposal to deliver humanitarian aid to the latter's restive eastern regions.
"Demand for humanitarian aid for civilians in the eastern regions (of Ukraine) remains high due to Kiev's ongoing combat actions," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.
Moscow said it was surprised at Ukraine's rejection of the proposed delivery of humanitarian aid, urging the authorities in Kiev to follow "human moral norms."
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the Russian proposal was "nothing more than another element of propaganda, which aims to demonstrate the Kremlin's alleged 'good intentions,' take advantage of the difficult situation that the Russian side itself has brought to the eastern regions of Ukraine to serve its own shallow political interests."
Kiev suggested that Moscow instead focus on answering the numerous requests for humanitarian aid from the people of the "annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea."
Moscow accused Kiev of "hypocritical switching of the topic" from humanitarian situation in eastern regions to that in Crimea, saying the Crimean residents live in safe and stable conditions while Ukraine attempted to disrupt the peninsula's infrastructure and basic services, including water supply.
Russia took Crimea following a referendum in the region in March. The change of borders was not recognized internationally.