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Russian UN envoy suspects US of cowardice over refusal to cooperate in Aleppo aid delivery

October 20, 2016, 1:53 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Speaking about the reasons for the Syrian crisis, Churkin noted that the conflict flames had been "artificially fanned from the outside"

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Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin

Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, October 20. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, rejected Washington’s accusations on Wednesday that the Russian side allegedly impedes the provision of assistance to residents of eastern Aleppo and suspected Washington of cowardice because of its refusal to join forces with Moscow to ensure the delivery of humanitarian cargo along Castello Road.

The diplomat’s statement came in response to critical remarks made by US Alternate Representative to the UN for Special Political Affairs, David Pressman, who said at a meeting of the UN Security Council that Russia allegedly hampers the provision of humanitarian aid to the population of eastern Aleppo.

"That’s not true. It is those who hold people in eastern Aleppo hostage who refused to receive assistance from the UN warehouses in the western part of the city. It was they who did not allow to use Castello Road for humanitarian aid delivery. If the US is concerned so much about the situation in eastern Aleppo, why did the US military refuse to stand along Castello Road together with the Russian military to ensure the non-stop operation of this vital artery. What is it? Cowardice or a desire to inflame passions around Aleppo at whatever cost?" Churkin said addressing the US diplomat.

Speaking about the reasons for the Syrian crisis, Churkin noted that the conflict flames had been "artificially fanned from the outside." "There is an answer to a question asked today who bears responsibility, and it is known to the whole world: the United States of America and the United Kingdom, which carried out an invasion of Iraq and launched, together with some other activists, an adventurist campaign to seek a regime change in Syria. To achieve that goal, they do not shun the support of openly terrorist groups," he said.

According to Churkin, "a sentimental speech" by the US diplomat "would have a greater effect but for Washington’s record and methods used by the US to achieve its foreign policy goals, namely, economic strangulation and indiscriminate, massive use of force."

Churkin said earlier in the day that the US, along with the UK, France and Ukraine, had blocked a draft statement proposed by Russia in support of a humanitarian pause in Aleppo announced by Moscow. The document also pointed to the need to step up efforts to separate the so-called moderate opposition from terrorists with a view to resuming the cessation of hostilities regime in Syria.

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