Updated 12:38 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is ready to send another batch of humanitarian aid to war-torn eastern Ukraine by the end of the week, Russia's deputy emergencies minister said Wednesday.
"We are ready to continue this [relief] effort. By the end of the week we will be able to continue the effort if certain decisions are made," Vladimir Stepanov said.
The first convoy of 280 trucks carrying Russian humanitarian aid was sent to eastern Ukraine in August, entering the country through a checkpoint controlled by independence forces after being stranded at the border for more than a week.
In early September, the participants of trilateral talks on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis agreed in Minsk to organize two more humanitarian convoys from Russia to eastern Ukraine. According to Russia's Ukraine Ambassador Mikhail Zurabov the first batch was to be sent by road and the second one by rail.
The second delivery was carried out last week. Starting Friday and throughout the night into Saturday a convoy of 220 white trucks brought some 1,800 tons of food, medicine, water purification equipment and power generators to the Luhansk Region, which had been on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe for weeks.
On September 13, the first deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic told RIA Novosti that the second batch of humanitarian aid had come in "just in time," as the region's stock of food was running dangerously low. Valery Potapov also said that the replenished stocks were expected to last them about 20 days.