Russia and China veto extension of cross-border aid in Syria

UN: Russia and China veto extension of cross-border aid to Syria

Russia and China veto extension of cross-border aid in Syria

Moscow proposes to reduce the number of checkpoints for humanitarian aid to people living in Syrian Idlib

Russia and China on Tuesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that extends permission for cross-border humanitarian aid in Syria for one year.

Germany and Belgium have prepared a draft resolution according to which humanitarian aid would continue to be delivered to Syria through two checkpoints on the Turkish border without interference from Damascus. In addition to Russia and China, the other 13 members of the UN Security Council voted to approve the project, diplomats said..

During the negotiations, Moscow asked to limit the extension to six months rather than one year. In addition, Russia insisted on the adoption of a resolution providing for the extension of aid supplies through only one checkpoint on the Turkish-Syrian border..

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As a result, the draft resolution was not adopted, confirmed Christoph Heusgen, Germany’s Permanent Representative to the UN and acting President of the UN Security Council in July. After the vote, Russia proposed to discuss its own draft resolution, a copy of which was at the disposal of the Agence France-Presse. According to this document, Russia wants all supplies of humanitarian aid to come under the control of Damascus, and also excludes one of the two points of entry to Syria – Bab al-Salam from the mechanism for providing cross-border humanitarian assistance..

Voting on the Russian resolution will take place on Wednesday. The resolution on the provision of cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria was adopted by the UN Security Council in 2014. The resolution needs to be renewed periodically.

Russia has used its veto for the 15th time to influence the war in Syria, which has been going on since 2011.

European diplomats described the actions of Russia and China as “extremely negative.” An Agence France-Presse source in diplomatic circles said that the reduction in the number of checkpoints would mean that aid would not be delivered to the population. “To insist on only one checkpoint is cynical; it does not meet the needs of the people, ”the source said..

The Bab al-Hawa checkpoint delivers humanitarian aid to 3-4 million people who live in the opposition-held province of Idlib.

The International Salvation Committee condemned the actions of Russia and China. “Blocking access to food, medicine, vaccines and ventilators is unacceptable at any time, but during the COVID-19 pandemic it is even more reprehensible,” said David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee..

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