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MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The first group of Ukrainian transit trucks whose transit through Russia was halted in a truck transit war between Ukraine and Russia, have been sent to Ukraine after an agreement was reached with Kiev on a mutual return of vehicles, the press service of the Russian Transport Ministry reported on Wednesday.
"In compliance with the program of action to return Russian and Ukrainian transit vehicles to the countries of their registration (the ‘back home’ regime), suggested by the Ukrainian side on February 15, 2016, the Rostechnadzor Federal Service for Supervision of Transport restored the earlier halted transit on the territory of the [Ukraine-bordering] Bryansk region," the press service said.
It said the first convoy of Ukrainian trucks was formed and set off towards Ukraine as of 22:00 Moscow time on Tuesday.
Work would continue in coordination with the Ukrainian side, the report said. On Tuesday, Russia and Ukraine agreed to extend permits for transit truck traffic until February 25.
"During the technical consultations the Russian and Ukrainian parties agreed to prolong the validity term of permits for transit transportations until 25 February 2016. This solution allows vehicles that were halted on the territories of both countries to return home before February 25," - the Russian Transport Ministry said.
On February 11, Ukrainian radicals in the Transcarpathian Region announced an unlimited campaign to block the transit of Russian trucks. Later they were joined by radically-minded activists in nine regions: Volyn, Rovno, Lvov, Transcarpathia, Ivano-Frankovsk, Zhitomir, Vinnitsa, Sumy and Chernovtsy.
In response, on February 14, Russia halted the transit of Ukrainian transport companies’ trucks through territory. On February 15, the Ukrainian government officially announced suspension of transit traffic of trucks registered in Ukraine.
From February 16, Russia, fully suspended transit of trucks registered in Ukraine through its territory. "The response measures will be valid until the settlement of the situation linked to the blocking by the Ukrainian side of Russian trucks," the Russian Transport Ministry said in a statement.