U.S. Threatens Sanctions Unless Russia Removes Convoy From Ukraine

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The U.S. promised additional sanctions Friday against Russia unless it removed a convoy that Russia says is delivering humanitarian aid to Ukraine but that the U.S. called a "flagrant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty." Russia sent the trucks into rebel-held eastern Ukraine earlier Friday without the Ukrainian government's approval; Ukraine alleged that the trucks were actually carrying weapons for the Moscow-allied rebels and said it was under "direct invasion."

Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser, told reporters in Washington that the "humanitarian" convoy was illegal because it was sent without the approval of Kiev and in violation of agreements that the International Committee of the Red Cross had to be involved in the delivery of any humanitarian assistance. "The ICRC is not part of this delivery. The government of Ukraine did not give agreement for this convoy to move within their borders," Rhodes said, adding: "Russia should take the opportunity to remove this convoy from within Ukraine. If they don't, they will face additional costs and consequences from the United States and our partners in the international community."



— M. Alex Johnson