Aid for Afghan quake victims blocked at Russian border: report
Sun 28 Jun 98 - 13:20 GMT
WARSAW, June 28 (AFP) - Polish humanitarian aid for victims of the earthquake in Afghanistan has been blocked in Russia for the past week by customs officials, Polish radio reported Sunday.
The emergency supplies, organised by Polish Humanitarian Action, were halted at the Ukraine-Russian border at Bielgorod, Trojka state radio said.
Russian customs officials were demanding certification that the convoy was carrying aid supplies or a refundable deposit of several thousand dollars.
PHA president Janina Ochojska, currently with the convoy, said the action was "simple chicanery" directed at her organisation.
The aid organisation has, in the past, organised humanitarian aid for Russia's breakaway republic of Chechnya.
She said the convoy would return to Poland if it was not allowed to continue its journey by Tuesday.
The Polish embassy in Moscow was trying to resolve the problem.
Nearly 5,000 people were killed and thousands injured in the earthquake in May, the second in less than four months to hit the Afghan region.
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