Russia’s humanitarian convoy will not be allowed into Ukraine.
A convoy of Russian trucks carrying humanitarian aid left the military base of Alabino, on the outskirts of Moscow destined to reach eastern Ukraine, but according to the Kiev regime, those trucks will not make it across the Ukrainian border.
The convoy, which occupies more than two miles, takes about a day to cover the 1,000 kilometers to the border with Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities have clarified that the shipment does not have authorization from Kiev to cross the border and that Russian personnel does not have authorization to enter the country either.
The International Red Cross is awaiting details on the delivery of the aid in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which have been continuously bombed by the Ukrainian army since the new president Petro Poroshenko was elected.
The Government of Ukraine, the United States and the European Union fear that the arrival of humanitarian aid will be used by Russia to start an armed intervention in these eastern regions where hundreds of civilians have been killed by Ukrainian rockets and government forces since the start of the conflict in late February.
Some 280 trucks carry a cargo that includes 400 tons of cereals, 100 tons of sugar, 62 tons of baby food, 54 tons of medical equipment and medicines, 12,000 sleeping bags and 69 generators. Large areas of Lughansk and Donetsk remain without water or electricity after its infrastructure was damaged by heavy shelling launched by the Poroshenko regime.
The Russian president’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that all shipping details have been agreed on with Ukraine. The Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, mediator in the deal, had suggested that the convoy can enter Ukraine through the Kharkiv region, which is controlled by the authorities, and will be escorted by OSCE observers. However, today the Kiev regime has officially denied entry to the convoy and has demanded that only red cross vehicles carry the aid to the eastern regions.
“Until the decision on the quantity, destination and route of humanitarian cargo to Ukraine is taken, there will be no place for it,” said the spokesman of the National Security Council and Defense of Ukraine, Andrei Lysenko. The head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Valeri Chali, stressed that humanitarian aid will be carried on leased means of transport by the Red Cross.
However, the humanitarian organization now says that practical details about the transport and delivery of the aid are still to be clarified. This was the last statement from Laurent Corbaz, responsible for the operations of the International Red Cross in Europe and Central Asia. The organization said on Monday that only participate in the delivery of aid if all parts agree to the conditions established by the Red Cross.
The European Union spoke in favor of sending a humanitarian mission to Lugansk and Donetsk if it has the support of the Ukrainian government and if the United Nations takes lead. President Barack Obama endorsed an “international humanitarian mission” under the leadership of the International Committee of the Red Cross, but with the participation not only of Russia, but also of the European Union and other countries.
The president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, said that an international humanitarian mission should exclude any kind of military presence and aid should enter Ukrainian territory through the border posts controlled by Kiev, after which they would be escorted by government forces.
The population of the Ukrainian eastern regions continues trying to flee clashes between government forces and civilian resistance in the east. Most do it to Russia, where some 730,000 people have sought shelter. According to the latest data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; 117,000 people have registered as displaced in Ukraine.
Those who can not or will not leave their homes, have to endure the shelling from the Ukrainian government, food and medicine shortages and lack of potable water and electricity, which has given rise to different proposals for humanitarian action.
The Ukrainian parliament is due to debate Tuesday possible sanctions against Russia, including a ban on imports of Gazprom, the Russian state monopoly. Today, Ukraine has banned the flow of Russian has through Ukraine, a move that will affect not only Ukraine itself, but the European Union as a whole.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute. Read more about Luis.