WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The White House warned Friday that Russia's movement of 130 alleged humanitarian aid vehicles into eastern Ukraine had violated international law and would incur "additional consequences."
The incident occurred Friday morning when 130 KamAZ trucks that the White House said were "Russian military vehicles painted to look like civilian trucks" bypassed inspection from Ukrainian officials and, with the help of a Russian forces blockade, entered Ukraine without escort by International Committee of the Red Cross personnel.
"We can confirm that the ICRC is not escorting the vehicles and has no role in managing the mission, a condition that all parties had agreed would be required," National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said Friday.
"...Russia has no right to send vehicles, persons, or cargo of any kind into Ukraine, whether under the guise of humanitarian convoys or any other pretext, without the express permission of the government of Ukraine."
In addition to Friday's incursion, Hayden pointed to the assembly of Russian forces along Ukraine's border which she said are "capable of invading Ukraine on very short notice." She noted that such developments further "amplifies international concerns about Russia's true intentions."
"It is important to remember that Russia is purporting to alleviate a humanitarian situation which Russia itself created -- a situation that has caused the deaths of thousands, including 300 innocent passengers of flight MH17. If Russia really wants to ease the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, it could do so today by halting its supply of weapons, equipment, and fighters to its proxies."
The White House did not elaborate about what "additional consequences" Russia's actions would incur.