MOSCOW, May 10. /TASS/. Trucks from the rescue centre of the Emergencies Ministry near Moscow are heading for the south-western Rostov region, where another humanitarian convoy for Donbass will be formed, the ministry said on Sunday.
"Today, at 06:00, the convoy with humanitarian aid for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions left the Noginsk (near Moscow) rescue centre for the Rostov region," the ministry’s representative said. "This is only a part of the convoy. It will be formed at the Donetsk (in Russia) rescue centre."
Trucks from Russia’s other regions will join the convoy from Noginsk, and the departure is scheduled for May 14.
This would be the 26th convoy. Since mid-August last year, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has dispatched 25 convoys loaded with 32,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Donbass.
On May 5, chief negotiator of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the Contact Group on Ukraine's crisis settlement Denis Pushilin commented on the humanitarian situation in the republic.
"The situation is critical, because the economic blockade has not been lifted, and it is only aggravating. There is no progress regarding Ukraine’s payment of social security benefits, and the republic’s actions are only the first steps - we have already begun to pay, but this does not relieve Ukraine of the obligation," he said.
Pushilin admitted that the situation is normalising thanks to the humanitarian relief convoys. "But this cannot save the situation in general. We need the launch of enterprises, banks and so on," the DPR representative said.
The Contact Group on the Ukrainian crisis resolution meet in Minsk on February 12 and signed a document approved by the leaders of the Normandy format countries, prioritising a ceasefire between the conflicting sides in east Ukraine, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the engagement line and measures for the political settlement of the crisis, including the creation of working subgroups. The working subgroups will focus on four priority areas: economic issues and the restoration of facilities; refugees, internally displaced persons and humanitarian assistance; political issues and security.