MOSCOW, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Russian Defense Ministry denied Friday the alleged "destruction" by Ukraine's army of a "Russian military convoy."
"There is no Russian military convoy that allegedly crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border at night or in the daytime," the Itar- Tass news agency quoted ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying.
It is regrettable that "fake" media reports on social networks, instead of facts, have become the basic of statements made at a higher level in some European states and "those have chosen the European path," Konashenkov said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said during a phone conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron that Ukrainian artillery units destroyed part of a convoy of heavy military vehicles that crossed into Ukraine from Russia in the early hours of Friday, the Interfax news agency reported.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry warned Friday of new attempts to sabotage cargo delivery to conflict-hit eastern Ukraine.
"Attempts to hamper the delivery of Russian relief aid to the regions in need are a source of our deep concern. The humanitarian action has entered its final stage," the ministry said in a statement, adding that Moscow and Kiev have coordinated almost all the key issues of the humanitarian aid mission.
The ministry added that the Ukrainian army had stepped up military hostilities with a clear aim to cut off the Kiev-approved route of the Russian relief convoy from the Russian-Ukrainian border to Lugansk.
"According to incoming reports, a punitive battalion is planning to lay mines under separate sections of the road in the Lugansk region to destroy the relief cargo and the accompanying personnel and then accuse the militias of terrorist activities," the Itar-Tass quoted the ministry as saying.
"Those who are nurturing such criminal plans should take enormous responsibility for the consequences," it warned.
The ministry reiterated that Russia is doing everything possible to make the delivery safe and calling on all parties to immediately announce a ceasefire for the period of the mission in compliance with norms of international humanitarian law.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin on Friday continued to discuss issues related to the delivery of humanitarian aid to southeastern Ukraine in a telephone conversation.
The two stressed the need for more prompt and responsible participation of international organizations in the implementation of the humanitarian mission.
Moreover, preparation is under way for a meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine this coming Sunday in Berlin, according to Maria Zakharova, deputy director of Russian Foreign Ministry's information and press department.
A 280-truck Russian convoy carrying about 2,000 tons of relief supplies arrived in Russia's southwest region of Rostov Thursday, said the International Committee of the Red Cross.
According to the press service of Ukraine's anti-terror operation, 41 Ukrainian frontier guards and 18 customs officers have began inspecting the cargo Friday morning. Once cleared, the humanitarian aid will go to Lugansk region.
MOSCOW, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday presses for an immediate ceasefire and safe corridors to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate civilians from the combat area in eastern Ukraine, said the Defense Ministry.
Shoigu made the remarks during a telephone conversation with U. S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.Full Story
WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Estonia in early September for a visit aimed at reaffirming U.S. commitment to its Baltic allies amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the White House said Friday.
During his stay, Obama will meet President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Prime Minister Taavi Roivas to discuss bilateral ties, strategic and regional cooperation, and commitment of the two countries to the trans-Atlantic partnership, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. Full Story