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Ukrainian nationalists reportedly turn back Russian trucks after transit war ends

March 04, 2016, 21:10 UTC+3 KIEV

According to the activists from Svoboda nationalist movement, fourteen trucks drove in the opposite direction escorted by police

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KIEV, March 4. /TASS/. Ukrainian activists from Svoboda nationalist movement say they turned back 14 Russian trucks in transit via Ukraine, after a Russia-Ukraine truck transit war ended on February 25.

"Activists made a Russian ‘humanitarian convoy’ turn back in the settlement of Malye Podleski [western Ukrainian Lviv region]. Fourteen trucks drove in the opposite direction escorted by police," Svoboda’s press service said in a report.

On March 1, Roman Khmel, the head of the automobile transport department of the Russian Ministry of Infrastructure, said the blockade of Russian transit trucks could be disastrous for Ukraine’s economy,

"It is a disaster for Ukraine. We are a transit country, and a large part of our economy depends on transit," Khmel said in an interview aired by Public Television.

Khmel added that logistics firms, which transport cargoes via Ukraine, might belong to a European company despite being registered in Russia. This kind of blockade can only spoil Ukraine’s image in Europe, he said.

Ukrainian radicals in the Transcarpathian region declared an infinite action to block Russian transit trucks on February 11. Radically minded people from other Ukrainian regions joined them later. Russia retaliated with stopping the movement of Ukrainian trucks across its territory on February 14. On February 15, the Ukrainian government imposed an official ban on cessation of transit haulages by trucks registered in Russia.

Ukraine and Russia resumed automobile transit as of midnight on February 25.

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