Steven Senne, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday condemned the movement of a Russian convoy into eastern Ukraine, calling it a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and demanding that it be withdrawn.
"We are deeply concerned about this," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama.
Rhodes said Russia would face additional costs if the convoy is not removed. He said the U.S. would discuss the matter Friday with its partners on the U.N. Security Council.
"Russia must remove its vehicles and its personnel from the territory of Ukraine immediately," the Pentagon's press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters earlier. "Failure to do so will result in additional costs and isolation."
He said the U.S. is not sure of the contents of the Russian trucks. Reports from Ukraine said trucks carrying food, water, generators and sleeping bags crossed into rebel-held regions of Ukraine on Friday morning without the permission of the government in Kiev.
Ukraine called the Russian move a "direct invasion."
Kirby noted that Russia's defense minister had recently "guaranteed" Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the Russian military would not invade Ukraine.
At NATO headquarters in Brussels, the alliance's secretary general condemned Russia for sending a "so-called humanitarian convoy" into eastern Ukraine.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen called Russia's unilateral decision to send more than 130 trucks filled with what it called humanitarian aid into rebel-held areas "a blatant breach of Russia's international commitments" and "a further violation of Ukraine's sovereignty by Russia."
- A world apart: 2 women with birthdates in...
- Top 10 best road trip spots (and photo...
- Convicted killer thought fellow escapee was...
- NBC to Donald Trump: You're fired
- U.S. Supreme Court overturns EPA's mercury...
- Religious liberty is rallying cry after gay...
- Religious leaders ponder next steps after...
- Utahns have mixed reactions to Supreme Court...
- Supreme Court declares nationwide right... 187
- Supreme Court upholds nationwide health... 72
- Religious leaders ponder next steps... 59
- Utahns have mixed reactions to Supreme... 57
- White House lit in rainbow colors after... 33
- Woman removes Confederate flag in front... 25
- Vandals target Confederate monuments in... 17
- NBC to Donald Trump: You're fired 16