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Ukraine to block Russian aid convoy

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Ukraine has rejected Russia’s humanitarian aid convoy headed for the war-torn people in the country’s east, saying it is an excuse for invasion.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivsky told reporters on Tuesday that there would be no need for humanitarian aid if Russia stopped supporting the pro-Russia protesters.

“The Red Cross is responsible and is coordinating the delivery of humanitarian aid. As it stands, the contents should be reloaded onto trucks rented by the Red Cross, and we will not allow Russian emergency services or military to escort it,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Valeriy Chaly said at a press conference, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, according to a statement released by French President Francois Hollande’s office on Tuesday, Hollande had expressed “grave concerns” in relation to Russia’s unilateral aid mission in Ukraine, during a phone conversation with his counterpart Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian media reports nearly 300 trucks having set off from Moscow, carrying two thousand tons of aid, including medicine, food, sleeping bags and power generators. They are expected to arrive at the border in a couple of days.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April to silence the pro-Russians who are after joining Moscow.

According to the United Nations, more than 1,540 people have been killed and nearly 300,000 forced to flee their homes due to four months of fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine.


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