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Russia making unprecedented efforts to improve situation in Eastern Ghouta - ambassador

"The situation in Eastern Ghouta is stable by and large," Nebenzya said

UNITED NATIONS, April 18. /TASS/. Russia is making active efforts to restore Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, but it is important now for other nations, too, to render assistance, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nabenzya told a meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

"As part of fulfilling Resolution 2401 of the UN Security Council, in coordination with Syria, Russia has made unprecedented efforts to improve the situation in Eastern Ghouta where the militant units, who are drawing on external support, have kept the local population hostage over several years," he said.

"As a result of protracted and tense talks the irreconcilable militants pulled out of the area and bloodletting was averted there," Nebenzya said.

"The evacuated civilians are returning to their homes now," he said. "About 60,000 people have returned there already."

"The situation in Eastern Ghouta is stable by and large," Nebenzya went on. "To support law and order, prevent provocations, protect civilians, and provide humanitarian and medical assistance to it, the Russian military police is cooperating with the Syrian local administrations."

He also recalled that the Syrians were clearing up the rubble of buildings in the city of Douma with the aid of construction vehicles offered by Russia.

"In the meantime, restoration in Eastern Ghouta requires precisely-targeted assistance by the entire international community, including the UN and its specialized agencies," Nebenzya said. "We call on our counterparts to join these efforts."

On February 24, 2018, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2401 on ceasefire in Syria for a minimum of 30 days in order to provide humanitarian assistance to the population. The resolution did not cover the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist grouping.

The Western countries pressed for adopting a resolution on the background of the situation in Eastern Ghouta where the Syrian Army units were keeping thousands of armed militants in encirclement.