India refuses to accept Japanese plane with aid for Ukraine

India has denied authorizing the entry of a Japanese transport plane to collect aid supplies for Ukrainian refugees, a lawmaker said Thursday, derailing Tokyo's plan for the flight later this month.

Under the original schedule, a C-2 transport plane of the Air Self-Defense Force was supposed to pick up relief items such as blankets stockpiled by a U.N. agency in India and the United Arab Emirates, and transport them to Poland and Romania, both of which border Ukraine and have welcomed refugees from the war-torn country, Kyodo News reported.

A Japanese government official explained at a Liberal Democratic Party meeting that India had agreed at a working level to allow the transport plane to land, but it suddenly withdrew its consent Wednesday, according to the lawmaker.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet was slated to formally approve on Friday the plan to send the aircraft, possibly in late April, but the flight will be put off following India's withdrawal of consent, said the ruling party lawmaker who took part in the meeting.

Some of those at the LDP policy meeting accused the government of failing to take into account the possibility that India, which is highly dependent on Russian military and energy supplies, could reject the plan, according to the lawmaker.

Japan will still try to dispatch the ASDF plane to transport aid supplies for Ukrainian refugees. The plan was made following a request from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Aircraft of Japan's Self-Defense Forces have already delivered bulletproof vests and helmets destined for Ukraine via Poland.

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said earlier this week Japan will also use commercial flights to provide Ukraine with masks and clothing to protect against chemical weapons, as well as civilian drones, following a request from the Ukrainian government.