RUSSIAN MOTORCADE WITH HUMANITARIAN CARGO ARRIVES IN BELGRADE

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MOSCOW, March 30, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The motorcade of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, consisting of six MAZ trucks with humanitarian aid for Serbian refugees in Kosovo, arrived on Tuesday in Belgrade, the Russian Emergencies Ministry Department of Information told RIA Novosti.

"The trucks, which set off on Friday from the town of Noginsk in the Moscow region, delivered over 55.5 metric tons of humanitarian cargo - beds, bedrolls and other primary necessities," a source in the department disclosed.

According to the agency's interlocutor, the trucks will be unloaded at the warehouses of the Serbian Red Cross in Belgrade. Afterwards, the humanitarian aid will be distributed in Kosovo, where Serbian refugees stay.

On Thursday, April 1st, the motorcade will set off back home.

On Wednesday Belgrade expects arrival of the 7th IL-76 cargo airplane of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, which is supposed to deliver the last batch of the humanitarian cargo to Kosovo by air. The plane is expected to deliver medicines and field kitchens.

Earlier on Wednesday, Friday and Monday six Russian Emergencies Ministry cargo airplanes delivered tents beds, bedrolls, power generating units, equipment for field kitchens, water filters, illuminating equipment, as well as hygienic necessities, cleansers, stationeries and sports equipment for Serbian schools. Total volume of cargo is estimated at approximately 130 metric tons, which has already been delivered to Kosovo by cars of Serbian Red Cross.

All in all, during the first stage of the humanitarian operation 380 metric tons of cargo were delivered to Kosovo by Russian Emergencies Ministry airplanes and ground transportation.

The agreement on the delivery of humanitarian aid was reached last week in the course of Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu's visit to Belgrade. The aid is delivered for the equipment of the first camp for 1,000 Serbian people, who became refugees as a result of the recent Albanian attacks on Kosovo.

The second stage of the humanitarian operation is planned for the early April. In the first days of April approximately 100 module living houses for the refugees camp will be delivered to Kosovo by railroad.

According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, small towns will be constructed with the necessary infrastructure, including aid posts.

According to the UN Civil Mission in Kosovo, 28 people were killed and some 800 injured as a result of disorders on March 17-20.

More than 3,500 of Serbs were forced to leave their houses. Albanian extremists burnt 30 Orthodox churches and cloisters, as well as hundreds of private houses and apartments of Serbs.

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