MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regrets that the Ukrainian customs service’s failure to inspect the Russian humanitarian cargo in time has delayed the humanitarian mission, a senior ICRC official said Thursday.
"ICRC regrets that customs inspection as agreed between Russian Federation and Ukrainian sides were delayed by the Ukrainian authorities yesterday. I hope that this misunderstanding has been right now solved and now the convoy will soon be positioned to proceed,” the ICRC Head of Operations for Europe and Central Asia Laurent Corbaz said Thursday.
“The check of the trucks has started and hopefully we are confident that this could resume, that convoy could start its operation soon. Hopefully tomorrow," Corbaz said.
Earlier in August, in light of the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Russia suggested sending an international humanitarian mission to eastern Ukraine under the auspices of the ICRC.
The convoy comprises 280 trucks carrying about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including baby food, medication, grain, sugar, sleeping bags and other necessities. It set off from the Moscow Region on August 12 heading toward Ukraine’s conflict areas.
However, the convoy was stuck on Russia’s border with Ukraine and Kiev was sending conflicting reports on whether the cargo will be allowed to proceed into eastern Ukraine. After long negotiations Kiev finally recognized the cargo as humanitarian aid.