ROSTOV-ON-DON, September 13 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian customs agency on the border with Ukraine on Saturday denied allegations of having prevented Ukrainian border guards from inspecting the convoy of 220 trucks carrying a second batch of humanitarian aid to the stricken regions in eastern Ukraine.
"Ukrainian border guards and customs officers were invited to run checks on the convoy at the 'Donetsk' checkpoint, but the Ukrainian side rejected the offer," a spokesman with the Federal Security Service (FSS) department in Russia's westernmost Rostov Region told RIA Novosti.
An observer team with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported earlier that the Russian humanitarian aid convoy crossed into eastern Ukraine late Friday without having been inspected by Ukrainian border guards or the Red Cross.
"The first group of 40 trucks were quickly checked by the Russian border guard and customs services. The 180 other vehicles were not inspected. All vehicles crossed into Ukraine without being inspected by Ukrainian border guard and customs officers," the mission said in a report published September 13.
Meanwhile, Kiev went as far as accusing FSS of having prevented Ukrainian border guards from getting near the trucks for an inspection.
A convoy of 220 vehicles entered Ukraine through the Donetsk Border Crossing Point starting at 18:20 GMT and throughout the night. The white-colored trucks carrying some 1,800 tons of food, medicine, water purification equipment and power generators entered the checkpoint at the border crossing in groups.
The first convoy of 280 trucks carrying Russian humanitarian aid was sent to eastern Ukraine in late August and entered the country through a checkpoint controlled by independence forces after spending more than a week waiting at the border.