MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - Humanitarian aid being sent to Transdnestr is due to arrive in the breakaway Moldovan region Saturday morning, an emergencies official said Friday.
Russia sent the humanitarian aid to Transdnestr after local authorities reported huge economic losses and said the republic was facing a humanitarian catastrophe following the imposition of new customs regulations by Ukraine at Moldova's request.
Yury Brazhnikov, head of the Emergency Situations Ministry's international department, said the Russian convoy carrying the cargo had stopped for a break 60 km (37 miles) away from Kiev, and slammed Ukraine for making traveling conditions more difficult.
"Although there is a special camping place in the area with hot food, sleeping accommodation and auto service, the Ukrainian side proposed that we stay in a field," he added.
Brazhnikov said the proposal had been rejected, and the sides were discussing other possible places for the drivers to rest. He said the convoy would depart for the Black Sea port of Odessa in Ukraine Friday night, and then reach border checkpoints in the Transdnestrian capital, Tiraspol, near the Ukrainian border on Saturday morning.
The convoy had retained all its state symbols, in accordance with the Geneva Convention, Brazhnikov said.
Ukraine imposed stricter regulations on the Russian convoy Thursday, insisting that its route be changed, that Russian symbols be removed, and that it travel only at night.
The convoy of 24 trucks is carrying 240 metric tons of medicines and other essentials for Transdnestr residents.
The new customs regulations in Transdnestr require that all goods from the region bound for Ukraine have an official Moldovan stamp. Some Russian politicians have said the new regulations amount to an economic blockade of the region.