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Subject Kievís blocking of Russian aid convoy to east Ukraine escalates risk of war
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Original Message Kievís blocking of Russian aid convoy to east Ukraine escalates risk of war

By Niles Williamson
16 August 2014

International tensions continued to mount throughout the day yesterday, as Ukrainian officials began inspecting a convoy of humanitarian aid that Russia hopes to send to the besieged city of Luhansk, which is held by pro-Russian separatists hostile to the pro-US regime in Kiev. The convoy of 280 trucks, which left for Ukraine on Tuesday, has been stalled at the Ukrainian border just outside the city of Izvaryne, as fighting intensifies across east Ukraine.

Russia agreed to allow a team of Ukrainian border guards to inspect the 2,000 tons of aid before passing across the border and on to Luhansk. US and NATO officials had made threatening statements earlier in the week that they would consider the passage of a Russian aid convoy into Ukraine without permission from Kiev to be an invasion.

The government in Kiev has stipulated that the Russia convoy not be accompanied by any sort of defensive personnel or equipment, under the pretense of ensuring that the convoy is not a cover for a military intervention.
According to the Pentagon, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a phone call on Friday that no Russia troops were involved in the convoy, that it would not be used as pretext for further intervention, and that Russia was doing everything it could to meet the Ukrainian regime's demands.

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