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Russian diplomat claims weapons are supplied to Syria under cover of humanitarian aid

December 23, 2015, 10:46 UTC+3
Vladimir Safronkov expressed regret that the UN Security Council did not accept Russia’s proposal to apply the UN monitoring mechanism to "all cargoes going to Syria and declared as humanitarian"
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© EPA/SANA / HANDOUT

UNITED NATIONS, December 22. /TASS/. Russia is worried by supplies of weapons to militants in Syria, as well as penetration of terrorists to the country through checkpoints where United Nations observers inspecting humanitarian cargoes are deployed, a deputy Russian permanent representative to the global organization said at a UN Security Council session Tuesday.

Vladimir Safronkov expressed regret that the UN Security Council did not accept Russia’s proposal to apply the UN monitoring mechanism to "all cargoes going to Syria and declared as humanitarian."

"We are seriously worried that supplies of weapons to militants do not end, and foreign terrorists-militants from all over the world keep joining the ranks of the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups," Safronkov said.

"Unfortunately, that flow goes via Syrian borders, often even via the same checkoints where the UN mechanism works," the diplomat said.

He said despite the UN presence as well as the resolution of the international community "to put an end to the crisis in Syria and shut off the air supply to terrorists", border crossing points to Syria "are persistently used for purposes having nothing to do with humanitarian, and often under humanitarian cover."

"This needs to be stopped," Safronkov underscored.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted Resolution 2258, which authorizes continuation of operations to deliver humanitarian aid to conflict-affected regions of Syria directly from the territory of neighboring countries without securing preliminary consent of Damascus until January 10, 2017.

The Russian deputy plenipotentiary representative noted the document’s paragraph requesting from the UN Secretariat more detailed information on delivery of humanitarian aid in the transborder regime.

Safronkov said the Security Council finds insufficient "general data on the number of convoys with the approximate number of people in need."

"We hope the latest reports by the secretary general will contain fuller and more detailed information," he said.

Russia will provide humanitarian aid to Syria in 2016

Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov has said Russia plans to provide humanitarian assistance to Syria next year.

"We continue to provide humanitarian aid to Syria, Yemen and Iraq. In 2016, we will continue work to render assistance to Syria and the countries that are adjacent to this region," he said during a meeting with head of the Humanitarian Aid Unit of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Manuel Bessler.

Puchkov added that Russia’s Emergencies Ministry planned to provide humanitarian aid to Cuba, Cameroon, Tunisia and other countries.

For his part, Bessler noted that Switzerland too had plans to provide assistance to Syria and neighboring countries.

 

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