MOSCOW, August 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s authorities intentionally drag the process of delivery of the Russian humanitarian aid to the embattled south-eastern Ukrainian regions and the situation with such artificial delays becomes intolerable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
“We have a strong feeling that the current Ukrainian authorities are intentionally dragging the delivery of the humanitarian aid to create the situation, when there would be no one left to receive the assistance,” the statement said.
“The convoy with tons of the much needed humanitarian cargo for people of these regions has been idling for a week on the Russian-Ukrainian border,” the statement said. “During this period of time Russia made unprecedented efforts to settle the necessary formalities in all directions and at all levels possible.”
Kiev is inventing new pretexts for delaying humanitarian aid delivery and intensifying attacks on Luhansk and Donetsk, the Foreign Ministry said. Russia has met all imaginable and unimaginable demands by Ukraine, submitting exhaustive lists of cargoes to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the ministry added.
Convoy starts towards Luhansk
Russia has decided to act, and the humanitarian aid convoy starts towards Luhansk, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Thirty-four Kamaz trucks with Russian humanitarian aid for residents of the embattled south-east of Ukraine have passed customs clearance, spokesman for Russia’s southern customs department Rayan Farukshin told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
Another 34 trucks are awaiting customs clearance at the Donetsk checkpoint (in Russia), the official added.
“On Thursday, 34 trucks from the humanitarian convoy passed through customs control at the Donetsk multilane automobile checkpoint of the Millerovo customs house. Russian and Ukrainian customs officers jointly completed the customs formalities for the vehicles. These 34 trucks and another 24 trucks are at the checkpoint and have not crossed the border of the Russian Federation,” Farukshin said.
He added that along with the humanitarian cargo formalities, the Russian border checkpoint continues normal operation for registering individuals crossing the border.
On August 12, about 270 trucks with almost 2,000 tons of relief supplies left the Moscow region, heading for the Ukrainian border. They arrived in the southern Rostov region bordering Ukraine on August 14 and have remained there since then. Ukraine and Russia have agreed the procedure for examining and customs clearing the cargo: each truck will be accompanied by a Red Cross official, and Russian and Ukrainian customs officers will examine and seal the trucks before they cross the border.