MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. The US Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (Caesar Act) entered into force on June 17 along with sanctions against the Syrian government, but in reality they affect ordinary Syrians, the Russian foreign ministry said in a comment Wednesday.
"The Caesar Act that is on paper aimed at protecting civilians only affects ordinary Syrians, the agency noted.
"Washington fully realizes that the unilateral US sanctions that have been in place for a number of years and new restrictions added to them today largely provoked depreciation of the Syrian lira and send prices of oil, food and essential goods soaring. As a result, thousands of ordinary Syrians found themselves on the verge of survival, according to reports of specialized UN humanitarian agencies," the ministry added.
The Russian ministry also pointed out that Americans simultaneously are spinning the narrative of their large charity help, choosing not to mention the illegal trade of Syrian fossil fuels, freezing of Syrian bank assets and choking off international funding that Syria has the right to use and receive. "However, they do not forget to mention the established system of humanitarian seizing that allegedly does not prevent provision of humanitarian assistance to Syria and mention extraterritorial sanctions that are illegal in nature judging by international law," the ministry said.
"It is not a secret that unilateral restrictions adopted [by the US] bypassing the UN Security Council block import of medicine to Syria, including the materials to produce medicine and anesthetics, computers and high-tech equipment (x-ray scans, ventilators, dialysis and radiation therapy machines) as well as fertilizers, water treatment system, construction equipment, energy generators and so on," the ministry recalled.
The ministry emphasized that in 2018 UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the observance of human rights Idris Jaziri in a report after his visit to Syria directly stated that multi-level sanctions obstruct provision of humanitarian aid and violate rights of Syrians. Their negative effect cannot be compensated by million charity donations or waivers, highly limited and bureaucratized, the report added. "It is clear that nothing has change since there, Washington’s sanctions only expanded and toughen further," the diplomatic agency concluded.
The Caesar Act was added to the US military budget for 2020 fiscal year (began October 1, 2019) and was signed by US President Donald Trump on December 20, 2019. After that, the US government had 180 days to draft new restriction, the time ran its course on June 17. The act gives US administration the right to impose sanctions on organizations and persons providing direct or indirect help to the Syrian government as well as various armed groups operating on its territory which, the US says, are supported by Syria, Russia and Iran.