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  Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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Russia will send more than 230 metric tons of humanitarian aid Wednesday to the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdnestr
Russia will send more than 230 metric tons of humanitarian aid Wednesday to the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdnestr, an emergencies ministry official said. "On Wednesday morning a fleet of 23 vehicles carrying humanitarian loads for the population of Transdnestr will leave from the Emergency Situations Ministry's 179th rescue center in Noginsk, Moscow Region," said Viktor Beltsov, deputy head of the ministry's information department. He said the aid was being sent by the United Russia party and the Moscow and Moscow Region governments. United Russia leader Boris Gryzlov, also speaker of the lower house of parliament, said he hoped "the Ukrainian authorities will not obstruct the movement of the fleet," a United Russia press release said. Tensions around the breakaway region flared up after Moldova imposed new customs regulations in early March that require all Transdnestr goods bound for Ukraine to have an official Moldovan stamp. The regulations were outlined by Moldova and Ukraine last year, and endorsed by the Ukrainian Cabinet March 1. Moldovan and Ukrainian officials say the new rules are intended to eliminate smuggling and simplify the procedure for registering Transdnestr-based companies in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, thereby promoting trade with local businessmen. Transdnestr has said the regulations effectively amount to an economic blockade of the region. "As a result of Moldova's actions, backed by Ukraine, the region is facing a humanitarian catastrophe and a serious aggravation of the situation, which could lead to direct conflicts," Transdnestr President Igor Smirnov said in a letter to President Vladimir Putin Tuesday.
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