LVIV, Ukraine/GENEVA, March 31 (Reuters) - A convoy of Ukrainian buses set out for the southern port city of Mariupol on Thursday to try to deliver humanitarian supplies and bring out civilians, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and the Red Cross said.
Vereshchuk said 45 buses were on their way to Mariupol after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed Russia had agreed to open a safe corridor.
In Geneva, the ICRC said its convoy was on the way to the besieged city, but called on both sides to agree the exact terms for the safe passage of civilians.
"For logistics and security reasons, we'll be ready to lead the safe passage operation tomorrow, Friday, provided all the parties agree to the exact terms, including the route, the start time and the duration," ICRC spokesperson Ewan Watson said.
"It's desperately important that this operation takes place. The lives of tens of thousands of people in Mariupol depend on it," he said.
Robert Mardini, ICRC director-general, in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, called on Ukraine and Russia to agree on safe evacuation of civilians from Mariupol and other frontline areas, where vital supplies are running out.
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Photo by: Alexander Ermochenko
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