UN urges inspection of Russian trucks entering Ukraine

UN calls for inspection of Russian aid trucks entering Ukraine, warning on possible flow of illegal arms

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

A semi-trailer truck, which carries 250 tonnes of humanitarian aid sent to rebels by Russia arrives in Donetsk, Ukraine on March 13, 2015.

UN official, Gianni Magazzeni, urged the inspection of Russian trucks entering the Ukraine for illegal arms on Thursday, after presenting a UN report on the human rights situation in Ukraine.

He pointed out that thousands of tonnes of “humanitarian aid” trucks had entered the Ukraine from Russia, however the contents were not inspected.

"[The] Border is not effectively controlled, it means everything can come in and move out without anyone inspecting it," said Magazzeni, who is chief of the Americas, Europe, and Central Asia Branch of the UN Human Rights Office.

He highlighted that among some humanitarian aid, there may be other elements within the trucks, but there is no authorisation officially being granted by the government of Ukraine.

The truce agreement signed in February 2015 in eastern Ukraine, between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels, remains “tenuous.” A new UN report states that 78 civilian casualties were recorded between Nov. 16, 2015 and Feb. 15, 2016.

The fighting broke out in April 2014 when pro-Russian rebels took over parts of Ukraine’s east, following Russia’s occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, which resulted in the death of more than 9,100 people; including civilians, as well as Ukrainian Armed Forces and members of armed groups.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said in a statement that “The implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the only viable strategy for achieving a peaceful solution in certain areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by armed groups, which, in turn, is key for resolving the human rights crisis in Ukraine.”

He also added in his statement that “This includes the restoration of effective control by the government of Ukraine over the border with the Russian Federation and the withdrawal of foreign fighters, mercenaries and military equipment.” 

TRTWorld and agencies