KIEV, August 13 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine has no plans to allow a convoy of Russian humanitarian aid to cross through the Kharkiv Region in the country’s east, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page Wednesday.
“The humanitarian convoy will not be allowed [to cross] the Kharkiv Region,” Avakov wrote.
Earlier on, Ukrainian Presidential Administration deputy head Valeriy Chaliy said the convoy would be allowed through a “Ukraine-controlled crossing between the Belgorod and Kharkiv regions.”
Russia expressed hope that the Ukrainian authorities would adhere to the agreements on the logistics of the humanitarian mission instead of attempting to hamper the deliveries by putting forward new demands. Ukraine said it was ready to receive humanitarian aid supplies.
The humanitarian convoy includes 280 trucks, carrying 62 tons of baby food, 54 tons of medication and 12,000 sleeping bags, among other necessities.
Russia proposed sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine’s eastern regions under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross last week. A number of Western countries, including the United States, Britain and Germany, called the initiative into question, saying the aid would be «unjustified and illegal» unless Russia secured Kiev’s consent.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly stressed the need for urgent measures to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and urged its Western partners not to disrupt the humanitarian efforts.