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MOSCOW, February 8 /TASS/. The Russian Emergencies Ministry relief convoy bound for Donbas has arrived at the Russian state border in the Rostov region, Oleg Voronov, the deputy head of the ministry’s national crisis management center, told TASS.
"The customs formalities at the Donetsk and Matveyev Kurgan border crossing posts are over and now head for Donetsk and Lugansk," he said.
Representatives of Ukraine’s customs and border services and OSCE monitors are helping to inspect the vehicles.
More than 170 trucks will deliver over 1,800 tonnes of relief cargoes such as food, sanitary essentials, building materials and other life necessities for the population of the conflict-stricken Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
"The relief convoy was formed in the territory of the Rostov region over the past week. Cargoes were delivered from various parts of Russia," Voronov said adding that the Russian Emergencies Ministry had practiced to perfection all the mechanisms of dispatching aid to Donbas from the convoy’s formation to the aid’s delivery to the final destination in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
"The aid convoy is going to split in two parts: more than a hundred vehicles will deliver over 1,100 tonnes of relief aid to Donetsk; the other 70 trucks with more than 700 tonnes of relief cargoes will head for Lugansk," Voronov clarified.
"The drivers know the route very well. They have already delivered aid to the people of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, sometimes in harsh weather conditions in which they had to display self-possession and concentrate attention," the Emergencies Ministry representative said.
On February 7, the Emergencies Ministry staff working at the Donskoy rescue center allowed journalists to look inside the trucks, which the latter chose to their own discretion.
A TASS correspondent said that some trucks contained canned food and sacks with rice and flour; others were loaded with building materials, which the people of Donbas needed urgently to restore and repair buildings damaged by shells.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry leadership has said many times that the ministry will continue sending relief aid to Donbas so long as the region needs it.
Another aid convoy will head for Donbas on February 15.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry truck convoys have delivered more than 16,000 tonnes of relief cargoes to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions since August last year.