MOSCOW, October 1 (Itar-Tass) - Economic santions are causing suffering and hardship to millions of Syrians and "a massive exodus of refugees", Russia's delegate has told the United Nations agency for refugees (UNHCR).
Restrictions imposed without authorisation from the UN Security Council must be lifted immediately, Aleksey Borodavkin told the agency's executive committee.
Five million were internally displaced among the population, twice the number of refugees, Borodavkin said. If international help did not reach them, "these people, who were already forced to leave their homes, can continue the exodus and will put an additional load on neighbouring countries,” he said in a speech posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Tuesday.
The diplomat said Russia's government had allocated 10 million U.S. dollars into UNHCR funds to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. “The Ministry of Emergency Situations has delivered many times hundreds of tonnes of urgent relief supplies to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. We confirm our readiness to continue to give this assistance,” he noted.
“We are convinced that countries where the camps of Syrian refugees are located should not have them used by extremist militants linked to Al-Qaeda and fighting in Syria,” Borodavkin added, observing that Resolution 2118 of the U.N. Security Council obliges “all countries, particularly the neighbours of Syria, to report to the U.N. Security Council any attempts of non-government entities to obtain chemical weapons.”
Convening an international conference on Syria in Geneva in mid-November would be a step forward in easing the plight of those who were suffering, he said.