Ukraine to Stop Russian Aid Convoy: Says Intention Doubtful

By @diplomatist10 on
Pro-Russia separatists of Ukraine
The head of the pro-Russian separatists government Denis Pushilin speaks during a news conference in the regional government building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine in this April 18, 2014 Reuters

Ukraine has decided not to permit the entry of Russia's 280 trucks carrying "humanitarian aid" for the strife torn eastern Ukraine residents. The Ukraine government announced that it would deny its entry to its territory because it has not been certified by the Red Cross and suspect it as a cover for military activities.

The Guardian reported that Ukraine and its western supporters see the humanitarian assistance of Russia as a pretext of asserting itself over Eastern Ukraine and a ground for invasion. The International Committee of the Red Cross also refused to endorse the content the Russian trucks are carrying.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande conveyed the concerns of the West to Russian President Vladimir Putin on a unilateral Russian mission in Ukrainian territory. Hollande told Putin that any humanitarian mission has to be multilateral and must have the approval of the Red Cross and Ukraine, according to a statement issued in Paris.

Ukraine Video

Andriy Lysenko, the spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said the convoy cannot be allowed entry into its territory. He said the convoy has not been certified by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The spokesman also showed a covertly filmed video that showed vehicles similar to the white-canopied trucks from Moscow being parked at a military base in Russia. The frame also showed troops in uniform and manning the trucks.

Russian Television channel NTV showed hundreds of white trucks lined up at a depot outside Moscow. It showed visuals of many things, ranging from baby food to sleeping bags. Some Russian Orthodox priests were seen sprinkling holy water on the trucks.

It has reported that the Russian relief has about 2,000 tonnes of grains, sugar, medicine, sleeping bags and power generators.

Worst Affected Areas

In strife torn areas like Luhansk of eastern Ukraine, city authorities say that the 250,000 residents are without any electricity or water supplies, for the last nine days.

Valeriy Chaly, deputy head of Ukraine's presidential administration, said Ukraine is open to an arrangement whereby the aid could be transferred across the border and reloaded to the trucks approved by the Red Cross.

Deliver At Border

But the Ukrainian government also insisted that the aid must cross the government-controlled border crossings. This is because more than 100 kilometres of the border with Russia is occupied by rebels. Ukraine is fine with the aid transfer at a point between Russia's Belgorod region and Ukraine's Kharkiv region.

At the same time, Ukraine warned that any attempt to take humanitarian goods into the country without authorisation would be an attack on its soverignity.

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