UN Security Council rejects Russian resolution on Syria
UN Security Council rejects Russian resolution on aid routes to Syria
If no consensus is reached by Friday, the access of humanitarian convoys from Turkey to northwest Syria will cease
NEW YORK – Russia failed to pass a resolution in the UN Security Council to cut off humanitarian access from Turkey to northwestern Syria, leaving the humanitarian operation and millions of Syrians in need in an uncertain state.
The project proposed by Moscow provided for the closure of one of the two remaining border crossings for the delivery of humanitarian aid, and the work of the second was proposed to be extended only for six months..
However, this proposal did not receive support in the Security Council: out of 15 members, only Russia, China, Vietnam and South Africa voted for it. Seven councilors voted against, four abstained.
This is the second vote on this issue in the last two days..
On Tuesday, Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution by Belgium and Germany, which was supported by the rest of the council. The project involved the extension of the mandate for the work of both border crossings for one year.
In a joint statement after the vote, Belgium and Germany noted that they voted against the Russian proposal because it did not meet the basic requirements that the UN and humanitarian organizations had pushed for..
“One thing is still clear: millions of people are relying on the Security Council to allow the widest possible humanitarian access,” they said in a statement. “This council is accountable to the Syrian people and the humanitarian workers who support it.”.
Moscow, being a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said that all humanitarian aid should pass through Damascus and from there be delivered to other parts of the country..
“The purpose of this text is not to support the Syrians, who are suffering from nine years of war and chemical attacks,” said Estonian Ambassador to the United Nations Sven Jurgenson, who voted against the resolution. “Instead, with this resolution, Russia is trying to twist the arms of the members of the Security Council, forcing them to work towards achieving Moscow’s political and military goals.”.
Border checkpoint mandate expires on Friday and there is still time to reach consensus.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Kraft worked with colleagues on the Security Council to reject Russian draft resolution.
“This is a confrontation between good and bad, right and wrong, and it’s right to vote against the Russian text,” Kraft told Reuters. “We’re talking about the difference between life and death for millions of Syrians.”.