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Russian aid convoy ‘will not be admitted into Ukraine’

A Ukrainian security spokesman has said that a humanitarian convoy being dispatched to eastern Ukraine by Russia will not be admitted into the country.

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said the convoy had not been certified by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

A convoy of 280 Russian trucks headed for Ukraine early on Tuesday, one day after agreement was reached on an international humanitarian relief mission.

But the Red Cross, which was due to coordinate the operation, said it had no information on what the trucks were carrying or where they were going. That has raised fears in Ukraine and the west, where leaders have voiced concerns that Russia could use the initiative as a pretext for sending troops into separatist-held territory.

An aide to the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, said Kiev would require the aid to be reloaded onto other transport vehicles at the border by the Red Cross if it was to enter. “We will not allow any escort by the emergencies ministry of Russia or by the military. Everything will be under the control of the Ukrainian side,” the aide, Valery Chaly, said.

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