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.
Russia is making efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine and to resolve issues with the humanitarian convoy, while calling on the U.S. to pay attention to problems with the passage of its humanitarian convoy, Shoigu was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.
Giving a detailed assessment of Ukrainian troops' actions in the combat area, Shoigu said it was unacceptable to use combat aviation, heavy weapons, including rockets, artillery and missiles, against civilians and the region's infrastructure.
He also expressed serious concern over increased U.S. and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) military activities near the Russian border.
The Russian Defence Ministry described the conversation as " business-like and constructive," adding that the two had agreed to continue contact.
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.
The move has been seen by some countries as a pretext for Russia's 'military intervention' to the neighboring country, under the guise of some kind of humanitarian mission.
A new round of recriminations began as Russia accused Ukrainian forces of trying to cut the route for humanitarian convoy, while Ukrainian artillery reportedly destroyed a significant part of a Russian armored column that crossed into Ukraine during the night.
Earlier on Friday, Russian Defense Ministry denied the alleged "destruction" by Ukraine's army of a "Russian military convoy."