Kiev intends to hold up the internationally-supervised Russian humanitarian aid convoy meant for East Ukraine for at least a week, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military said.
Ukraine said the time is needed for the International Red Cross, which is contributing to the Moscow-initiated mission, to establish where the aid should go in the Ukrainian region engulfed by civil war.
The convoy of 280 trucks dispatched on Tuesday “did not pass the ICC certification,” Andrey Lysenko said.
Earlier, Moscow said that the humanitarian mission had been agreed by all parties concerned.
Russia has sent some 2,000 tons of aid to Ukraine, including food, medicine, sleeping bags and power generators.
The cargo is meant for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which have seriously suffered in more than three months of warfare, as Ukrainian troops used heavy artillery, bomber aircraft and tanks to advance on cities controlled by the militias.
Kiev earlier accused Moscow of trying to conduct a stealth invasion of Ukraine under a guise of humanitarian aid, saying that Russian troops would be posing as guards of the convoy while actually tasked with starting an offensive.
The narrative was supported by some western countries, which said that any humanitarian mission not backed by Kiev would be considered an attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Russia dismissed the accusations as nonsense.
In another media briefing on Monday evening, Lysenko stated that the humanitarian convoy to Ukraine was organized “under an agreement between [President] Petro Poroshenko and the International Red Cross,” and that Russia “wants to present this mission as its own initiative” as a publicity stunt.
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