UNITED NATIONS, February 5. /TASS/. The United States, the United Kingdom and Ukraine have blocked a United Nations Security Council statement condemning mortar shelling of the Russian embassy in Damascus in early February, a source in the United Nations headquarters told TASS on Sunday.
"The statement was blocked by the U.S., UK and Ukraine," the source said.
The Russian foreign ministry said earlier that the Russian diplomatic compound in Damascus had twice come under mortar shelling, on February 2 and 3. "Aimed fire was conducted from the Jobar neighborhood controlled by terrorists," the ministry said. One of the mines exploded in the territory of the embassy compound between the office and residential buildings. Another mine went off some 20 meters off the main entryway to the embassy. No one was hurt but the shelling caused material damage.
"This crime cannot remain unpunished," the Russian foreign ministry stressed and called on the international community to "duly react to this dangerous terrorist provocation."
"We categorically demand the United Nations Security Council resolutions be implemented, supplying of terrorists with weapons and finance be stopped. Once again, we urge to consolidate efforts to exterminate the dangerous seat of terrorism personified by Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra [both outlawed in Russia - TASS] and their accomplices in Syria and in the region in whole," the ministry stressed.
This is not the first time when Western countries and Ukraine block statements condemning attacks on the Russian embassy in Damascus. After the shelling of the Russian diplomatic mission in early October 2016, the U.S. delegation tried to have any mention of the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which Moscow believed to be behind the attack, be deleted from the Russia-initiated text. "The British and Ukrainians teamed up with the Americans clumsily," the Russian mission to the United Nations said back them.
Three weeks after, the United Nations Security Council condemned another attack on the Russian embassy that caused serious material damage. The document stressed the principle of inviolability of diplomatic and consular facilities and demanded all necessary steps be taken to ensure their protection from any attack or damage.