KIEV, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Saturday that Kiev was ready to announce a ceasefire for the safe passage of Russian humanitarian convoy to southeastern Ukraine, provided the convoy “was duly” registered.
“The Trilateral Contact Group [Ukraine, Russia, OSCE] talks are held today. We know that the Ukrainian side was ready to announce ceasefire for the passage of the convoy if it was duly registered and inspected by the Ukrainian border and customs services. But that did not happen,” Poroshenko said Saturday at the joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On Friday, several dozens of Russian trucks carrying humanitarian aid to violence-torn Luhansk and Donetsk regions crossed the border into Ukraine allegedly without clearance by Ukrainian customs officials and without escort provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Russia’s action prompted anger in Kiev and a number of Western countries who accused Moscow of a military intervention and violation of Ukraine’s borders.
Moscow said Ukrainian authorities had been holding up for days the delivery of humanitarian aid. On August 14, the trucks with Russian humanitarian aid arrived at the border, but Ukraine began customs clearance only on August 21.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reminded that Moscow received a formal agreement from Kiev authorities for the passage of the humanitarian convoy through the Ukrainian border on August 12.