Disputed Russian convoy approaches southeastern Ukraine

A Russian aid convoy that Kiev fears Moscow could use to help arm pro-Kremlin insurgents moved closer to separatist southeastern Ukraine, a Russian Emergencies Ministry spokesman said.

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 14, 2014, 16:16 PM IST

Moscow: A Russian aid convoy that Kiev fears Moscow could use to help arm pro-Kremlin insurgents moved closer to separatist southeastern Ukraine on Thursday, a Russian Emergencies Ministry spokesman said.

The convoy of nearly 300 trucks was forced to skirt the border after Ukraine denied Russia permission to cross in the northeast of the country, where the government is under control.

A spokesman for the Russian Emergencies Ministry told a news agency that the convoy was now in Russia`s Rostov region neighbouring the war-torn Ukrainian district of Lugansk, which is under predominantly rebel control.
It was not immediately clear when the trucks would reach the border or whether Ukrainian officials would allow them to pass.

Russian officials and state media have maintained a wall of silence around the whereabouts of the controversial mission.
A spokesman for the Rostov Emergencies Ministry said by telephone that his service "was not releasing any information about this convoy".

The trucks, which Russia says are carrying 1,800 tonnes of aid, spent most of the day on Wednesday parked outside the city of Voronezh, which lies 500 kilometres (300 miles) north of Rostov-on-Don, the centre of the Rostov region.