Geneva (ICRC) – ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric is visiting Moscow this week to discuss urgent humanitarian concerns with government officials and the Russian Red Cross.

News release 18 January 2023 Russia Ukraine

The 2-day visit follows President Spoljaric’s mission to Ukraine last month, where she met with government officials, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, associations of families of prisoners of war and interned civilians, and communities that are suffering from the international armed conflict.

A critical priority for President Spoljaric is to ensure that prisoners of war on both sides receive regular visits from the ICRC and are treated humanely in line with international humanitarian law. The ICRC has been visiting prisoners of war on both sides, but is urgently seeking full, unimpeded, and regular access to all, wherever they are held. These visits enable ICRC teams to monitor conditions of detention and treatment of the prisoners, share much-awaited news with their families and provide items such as blankets, warm clothes, personal hygiene items, and books.

The ICRC also stands ready to play a neutral intermediary role for the exchange of prisoners and for any other humanitarian initiative, at the request of the parties.

Consistent engagement all over the world with parties to an armed conflict through confidential dialogue is an essential tool through which we advocate for greater adherence to states’ obligations to uphold the Geneva Conventions, which lay out the rules of armed conflict.

During the visit, President Spoljaric will also discuss other contexts of humanitarian concern including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria, and the Sahel region.