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Russia hopes UN chief will take steps on ‘secret’ directive on Syria - envoy

September 22, 14:06 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

The UN chief pledged to sort out the situation, since this provocation undermines the reputation of the Secretariat as a neutral and impartial body

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Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya

© Valery Sharufulin/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, September 22. /TASS/. Russia expects that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Moscow’s demand to take steps in respect of the organization’s provocative directive on Syria, which stonewalls the country’s reconstruction, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said in an interview with TASS.

In an interview ahead of a high-level week of the 73rd UN General Assembly, Nebenzya stressed that the directive, which was drafted by a branch of the UN Secretariat late last year, "is absolutely illegitimate, it has not been agreed by the member-states and runs counter to the neutral spirit of the organization."

"As soon as information about this document emerged, we made a number of demarches to the UN Secretariat’s leadership," the high-ranking diplomat said. The UN chief pledged to sort out the situation, since this provocation undermines the reputation of the Secretariat as a neutral and impartial body. "We hope that the necessary steps have been made," Nebenzya said.

This document is just one of a few attempts by certain member-states to manipulate by the secretariats of international organizations to achieve their geopolitical interests, he said. Russia will continue taking steps to ensure that neutrality and impartiality remain the basic principles of the UN’s work.

In late August, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the UN Secretariat had sent out a secret directive, which prohibits UN structures to participate in projects aimed at recovering Syria’s economy before a political transition in the country is finished.

Lavrov said he had discussed this matter with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and asked him "why such questions are becoming a subject of some secret internal directives of the UN Secretariat and why the Security Council, which directly handles Syrian regulation, was not informed of it, and why such decisions are made without an open and objective analysis of the situation on the ground." Russia’s top diplomat added that he expected the UN chief to sort out the matter.

Later, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric denied the existence of this special directive.

Russia’s Kommersant business daily later published the full text of the UN document, which prohibits the organization’s structures to take part in Syria’s reconstruction.

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