The European Union has blamed Moscow for the “clear violation” of Ukraine’s border after a Russian aid convoy crossed into the Ukrainian territory.
“We deplore Russia’s decision to enter the humanitarian consignment into Ukrainian territory, without the ICRC’s [International Committee of the Red Cross] escort or the consent of the Ukrainian authorities,” Sebastien Brabant, spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, said on Friday.
“This also goes counter to the previous arrangements reached between Ukraine, Russia and the ICRC. We urge Russia to reverse its decision.”
He emphasized that Ukraine’s sovereignty “must be respected.” The EU official praised the authorities in Kiev for their “restraint as well as their readiness for further talks in order to avoid a further escalation of the crisis.”
Ukraine accuses Russia of launching a “direct invasion” of its territory after dozens of Russian trucks carrying aid crossed the border with Ukraine to deliver food and medical supplies to the people in the conflict-stricken regions in eastern Ukraine on Friday.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said the entry of the Russian convoy represented a “flagrant violation of international law.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had earlier said it did not grant permission for the convoy to enter Ukraine but the action was informally allowed to avoid “provocations.”
Russian media have reported that the first aid convoy, which includes a total of 70 trucks loaded with food, water, generators and sleeping bags, has reached the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk.
Kiev is zeroing in on pro-Moscow activists in their two important eastern bastions of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is while the humanitarian situation on the ground is deteriorating in the two regions as the people there have been suffering from the lack of water and power supplies for weeks now.
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