A Russian aid convoy bound for eastern Ukraine must be scrutinised to ensure it does not serve political ends, according to the European Union's humanitarian aid chief.
Kristalina Georgieva said: "It is very important that delivery of humanitarian aid anywhere, by anyone, complies with the principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence and that international humanitarian organisations are those who ... help people affected by crisis."
She added: "No political or any other objectives must be pursued. The content of humanitarian aid must be exactly that, humanitarian aid, and obviously cannot be taken on face value."
Russia claims the convoy is carrying food, water and other aid for the people trapped by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
But some like French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, fear that it could be an attempt by Moscow to install a permanent presence in the country
Ukraine's government has said the convoy will be unloaded and transferred at the border.
More top news
The decision by the EU27 to progress to trade talks is expected to be little more than a formality.
The brisk northerly wind will make it feel rather cold.