ICRC President Spoljaric concludes visit to Moscow: Progress on prisoners of war is urgent

Geneva (ICRC) – During a visit to Moscow over the past two days, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoljaric, raised the importance of upholding international humanitarian law and additional critical humanitarian concerns related to the international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. She also discussed the situation in other conflict-affected areas, including Syria, the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa.

President Spoljaric met with Foreign Minister Lavrov; Deputy Minister of Defense Colonel General Fomin; and High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs Moskalkova. She also met with the President of the Russian Red Cross Mr Savchuk.

This was her first trip to Moscow as ICRC president and follows a trip to Ukraine last month where she met with officials and communities affected by the international armed conflict.

One of President Spoljaric’s priorities is that prisoners of war are treated humanely and receive regular ICRC visits. So far, the ICRC has only had some access to prisoners of war to monitor their conditions of detention and treatment, share much-awaited news with their families and provide essential assistance. The thousands more we have not seen have the right to receive a visit from us.

It is time to see meaningful progress. Lives are at stake, and people on both sides of the international armed conflict are desperate for news of their loved ones. That is why we are urgently seeking full, unimpeded, and regular access to all prisoners of war, wherever they are held.

Constant confidential and bilateral engagement with parties to the international armed conflict is essential for the ICRC to advocate for states’ obligations to respect rules laid out in the Geneva Conventions.

Note to editors and producers:

Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war. A neutral, independent and impartial organization, its mandate stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. it is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and works in more than 100 countries.

The ICRC has been working in Ukraine since 2014 with a team of over 600 staff members. Working closely with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and our Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners, we are increasing our response to the vast and growing humanitarian needs in Ukraine.

The ICRC has a permanent presence in Moscow since 1992, that supports ICRC’s mission to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence around the world.

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross

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