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Obama, Merkel condemn Russian convoy entering Ukraine

The two leaders, speaking on the phone, agreed that Russia sending a convoy into Ukraine without Kiev's approval was a further provocation and a violation of its sovereignty, according to a White House statement. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the trucks, which had been waiting for more than a week at the border, constituted “aid to the people in disaster areas.” Ukraine called the move was an “invasion” as President Petro Poroshenko said more than 100 trucks had crossed his country’s border. The Ukrainian government had previously said that the convoy could accomplish its humanitarian mission only if the aid was inspected, escorted and distributed by the International Committee of the Red Cross.  Obama and Merkel called on Russia to "accept the conditions previously agreed to with Ukraine and the International Red Cross for any humanitarian convoys in Ukraine." 

Kiev and the West feared that Russia would use the convoy as a cover for military intervention or to supply pro-Russian rebels with arms. 

Russia, while deploying tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine border, had previously agreed to allow the trucks to be inspected.

The two Western leaders also reiterated their concern about the large numbers of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, the presence of Russian military personnel in Ukraine, and Moscow's shelling of Ukrainian territory.  

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