Washington warns Moscow over ''provocative'' activities

16 August 2014

Washington has called on Moscow to stop its "extremely dangerous and provocative" activities following Ukraine claiming it had destroyed part of a Russian military convoy that entered its territory, AFP reported.

US National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden warned yesterday that the escalation in Russian activity aimed at destabilisation of Ukraine in recent weeks was extremely dangerous and provocative.

Russia had been accused of 'destabilisation' of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin separatists had been fighting against Kiev for four months.

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told UK prime minister David Cameron that government artillery had destroyed a "considerable part" of a small military convoy that entered the country, the presidency said in a statement.

Russian defence ministry dismissing the alleged military column as a "phantom", denied  western accusations that it was supplying weapons to the pro-Russia separatists who launched an insurgency against Kiev in April.

Further piling up diplomatic pressure on Moscow, the EU demanded that Russia "put an immediate stop to any form of border hostilities, in particular to the flow of arms, military advisers and armed personnel into the conflict region, and to withdraw its forces from the border".

IANS reported Russian defence minister Sergei Shoygu assured US secretary of defence Chuck Hagel yesterday that the humanitarian convoy Moscow sent to Ukraine was not carrying any Russian troops.

More than 200 Russian trucks with nearly 2,000 tons of supplies on board reached the Ukrainian border yesterday. The contents of the trucks had been inspected by Ukrainian customs officials in conjunction with Red Cross personnel.

The convoy had been arranged to aid residents of the besieged eastern Ukrainian city of Ukraine, a bastion of the ethnic-Russian militias fighting Kiev government.

The Russian defence chief acknowledged that the goods would be delivered and distributed under the International Committee of the Red Cross. Shoygu assured secretary Hagel that Russia was meeting Ukraine's conditions, defense department spokesman John Kirby said.

Meanwhile, the EU yesterday urged Russia to ''put an immediate stop to any form of border hostilities''. The EU added, any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext including humanitarian would be considered by the EU as ''blatant violation of international law.''

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