Will the Russian aid convoy to Ukraine enter without Ukrainian government permission?

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§ Judgement rule

How will the final result of the question be determined?

Ukrainian government statement to press regarding aid convoy will be taken as fact regarding answer.
Reference date: Sept. 7, 2014, 24:00 IST

Answer options

Widget Price
 Yes it will cross without permission
57.34 %
 No it will not cross without Ok from Ukrainian government
28.00 %
 It will attempt to cross but will be stopped by force
14.64 %

Price trend

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Background

Ukraine map - Copyright: Public domain

A Russian convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid left on Tuesday 12 August 2014 from near Moscow for eastern Ukraine. The 1000 km journey to Ukraine's eastern regions will take a couple of days, probably to a border crossing point near Kharkiv. At the border the convoy shall be transfered to the International Committee of the Red Cross. [1]

A Russian government speaker and and a Ukranian presidential aide cited exclusively humanitarian intentions whereas U.S., French and Australian government speakers expressed concern that the deliveries might be a covert operation to help anti-government rebel fighters [1] or even could be the prelude to invasion [2]

On Wednesday, 13 August the convoy resumed its trip after stopping in Voronezh overnight. Menawhile, official Ukrainian speakers are sending uncoordinated messages about its stance regarding the convoy, ranging from outright rejection (Interior Minister), qualified acceptance of Red Cross intermediation (Prime Minister) to just a a Red Cross inspection (unnamed militry spokesman). [3]

Thursday 14 August sees only 100 lorries continue towards the border, amidst the uncertainty. A Red Cross offical will fly to Kiev and Moscow on a diplomatic mission to clarify border crossing procedure. [4]

On Saturday 16 August, a Red Cross official confirms that security procedures have been agreed between the Ukraine and Russia. The Red Cross now awaits security guarantees for a safe border crossing. The aid convoy has not moved since Thursday. [5]

On Sunday, talks between the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in Berlin, brokered by those from Germany and France, resulted in a resolution of "all" the issues concerning the aid convoy. The issue of safe conduct or a cease-fire, however, remains unresolved. [6]

On Thursday 21 August at 2pm, Interfax Ukraine reports that the first trucks have cleared customs at a rebel-held border point in East Ukraine, not controlled by Kiev forces. 58 Ukrainian border guards have been tenting on the Russian side to facilitate the aid convoy's crossing in the presence of two jeeps with Red Cross officials. [8]

On Friday, 22 August, Ukraine accuses Russia of invasion after aid convoy crosses border: "They (the russian aid convoy) passed into Ukraine without clearance or participation of the International Red Cross or (Ukrainian) border guards," Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists. "We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine," Ukrainian state security chief Valentyn Nalivaychenko said in a separate statement to journalists. [7]

Sources

[1] Ukraine says may block Russian aid convoy - Reuters, 12 August 2014

[2] Russian aid convoy heads for Ukraine amid doubts over lorries' contents - The Guardian, 12 August 2014

[3] Ukraine Sends Mixed Messages on Plan for Russian Convoy - Wall Street Journal, 13 August 2014

[4] Ukraine crisis: Russia aid convoy heads for border - BBC, 14 August 2014

[5] Kiew und Moskau einigen sich auf Inspektion des Hilfskonovis - Frankfurter Allgemeine, 16 August 2014

[6] Russian Aid Convoy Deal Reached - The Wall Steet Journal, 18 August 2014

[7] Ukraine accuses Russia of invasion after aid convoy crosses border - Reuters, 22 August 2014 - The Gurdian, 21 August 2014

[8] Russian aid convoy clears customs at east Ukraine border

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Mickey Pierce
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