News / Europe

    Russia to Send Aid Convoy into Ukraine

    Armed pro-Russian separatists stop a resident at a checkpoint outside Donetsk, Aug. 5, 2014.
    Armed pro-Russian separatists stop a resident at a checkpoint outside Donetsk, Aug. 5, 2014.
    VOA News

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday told European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that Russia was coordinating with the International Committee of the Red Cross to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

    “The Russian side, in collaboration with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is sending a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine,'' the Kremlin said in a read-out of a telephone call between the two leaders.

    The European Commission confirmed that the phone call took place but said that Barroso warned Putin against any military action in Ukraine.

    “President Barroso warned against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian,'' the commission said in a statement.

    U.S. President Barack Obama, in phone call Monday, told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that any Russian intervention in Ukraine "without the formal, express consent and authorization of the Ukraine government would be unacceptable and a violation of international law," the White House said in a read-out of the call.

    Ukraine, which has previously warned Russia against any unilateral initiatives, says it would support a ICRC-led mission with the participation of the EU, Russia, Germany and other partners, according to a read-out of the Obama-Poroshenko phone call as published on the Ukrainian leader’s website. Obama confirmed that “the U.S. intends to play an active part in such an international humanitarian mission,” the statement said.

    French news agency AFP quoted Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that the convoy Russia plans to send to Ukraine will not have a "military escort." He said that the mission had been "agreed with" Kyiv and will be supervised by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    The ICRC, in a statement Monday, said no agreement on Russian participation is in place and said "practical details need to be clarified" before such a mission can move forward.  

    NATO chief warns of 'high probability' of incursion

    Meanwhile, NATO's secretary general says the alliance has seen no sign of Russian forces pulling back from the border with Ukraine and that there is "a high probability" Moscow will intervene militarily in the eastern part of the country.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview with Reuters at alliance headquarters in Brussels August 11, 2014.NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview with Reuters at alliance headquarters in Brussels August 11, 2014.
    x
    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview with Reuters at alliance headquarters in Brussels August 11, 2014.
    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview with Reuters at alliance headquarters in Brussels August 11, 2014.

    "We see the Russians developing the narrative and the pretext for such an operation under the guise of a humanitarian operation and we see a military buildup that could be used to conduct such illegal military operations in Ukraine," Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the Reuters news agency earlier Monday.

    “Any Russian intervention under the guise of a humanitarian mission would be unjustified and illegal,” Rasmussen said.

    Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, meanwhile, said Monday that Russia will send humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine, "if we can agree all details with all the partners." He said that if such an agreement is reached, the aid would be sent "immediately" because of the "tragic humanitarian situation" in the region.

    Thousands of people in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east are reported short of water, medical aid and electricity, as Ukraine forces battle pro-Russian separatists trying to establish an autonomous region near the Russian border.

    On Saturday, Ukraine claimed it had thwarted an attempt by Russia to send troops into Ukraine under a supposed agreement with the Red Cross and the guise of peacekeepers, with the aim of provoking a large-scale military conflict.  Moscow dismissed the allegation as a "fairy tale."

    Last week, NATO said Russia had amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border.

    NATO intervention?

    Asked if NATO would intervene militarily in Ukraine if Russian forces did invade, Rasmussen all but ruled out direct involvement but said there would be consequences for Moscow.

    “We are not considering military operations. If the Russians were to intervene further in Ukraine, I have no doubt that the international community would respond determinedly, notably through broader, deeper, tougher economic sanctions that would isolate Russia further,” he said.

    Rasmussen accused Russia of creating the “disastrous humanitarian situation” in eastern Ukraine, and suggested that the best way for Moscow to end the crisis would be to “stop the flow of weapons and fighters and money into Ukraine and cease the support for armed separatists and engage in a constructive political dialogue.”

    Russia has repeatedly denied direct involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Igor from: Russia
    August 12, 2014 5:37 AM
    The West and those in power in Kiev know for sure that people in the East are dying from the lack of food, water, medicine and other basic needs. But they have done nothing to help except bombing and shelling and preventing others' humanitarian missions. Their butality and inhumanity must be stopped!

    by: josel from: miami
    August 11, 2014 5:51 PM
    I don't know why, but I have a bad feeling about all this. I think that it won't end well for Ukraine.
    In Response

    by: Igor from: Russia
    August 12, 2014 12:44 PM
    You are right. One half of the nation wants closer ties with the West because of their own interests. The other half wants closer ties with Russia with the same reason. They failed persuade one another to accept their views and decided to kill each other. The outside forces pour more and more oil into the fire because of their own interests. Crazy enough!

    by: putintokillyou from: Germany
    August 11, 2014 3:56 PM
    If EU and USA are so weak nation like Ukraine,which wants to be a part of EU and west,so what are we worth of?

    by: maithe from: Paris, France
    August 11, 2014 3:25 PM
    I don't understand why the ICRC "has had no immediate comment" (quote)
    If people are really in a "tragic humanitarian situation" (quote)why and what the ICRC is waiting for ? Some sort of "OK " ? Who is supposed to give it ? And why NATO and not the UN is mixed up with an humanitarian story together with the ICRC ???

    by: Dr Masta Marina from: Finland
    August 11, 2014 2:55 PM
    do you really think Jose Manuel Barrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrosso "warned Putin against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian..."??? if you do, you have no idea of the European idiotic cowardly corruption.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 11, 2014 1:22 PM
    CRAZY isn't it?.... NATO fears Russia will use the same NATO rules, "for humanitarian reasons" to invade Ukraine, like the US, EU, and NATO forces used to attack Yugoslavia, to form the (contested) country of Kosovo....

    PS;... By NATO using a vague interpretation of the NATO Charter, they said they were authorized under the NATO rules, to bypass the UN Security Council Charter, and "for humanitarian reasons" attack and wage war on tiny Yugoslavia for Kosovo, (and now), the US and NATO are afraid Russia will use those same NATO rules, "for humanitarian reasons" to invade Ukraine..... What goes around, comes back around, like those NATO rules, that didn't violate the UN Charter?... CRAZY isn't it?..... (Now NATO say's Russia will violate the UN Charter, if they use the NATO rules?)

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora