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Russia refrains from supporting resolution on aid deliveries in Syria bypassing Damascus

The resolution was supported by 13 UN Security Council member nations. Russia, Bolivia and China abstained

UNITED NATIONS, December 19. /TASS/. The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday passed a resolution sanctioning continuation of humanitarian assistance to Syria directly from the territories of neighboring countries bypassing Damascus.

The resolution was supported by 13 member nations. Russia, Bolivia and China abstained.

The document sanctions continuation of the so-called trans-border operation for another year. In November, Russia demanded the scheme of humanitarian deliveries to Syria be reviewed as it "infringes upon Syria’s sovereignty and runs counter to the principles of emergency humanitarian assistance." Apart from that, Moscow voiced concern over the fact that relief aid was being delivered only to areas controlled by armed groups.

Today’s resolution requests UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres make review of trans-border humanitarian operations and issue recommendations on how to strengthen the mechanism of monitoring cargoes crossing Syria’s borders. Apart from that, the resolution binds the secretary general to inform the Security Council once a month about how many humanitarian cargoes were delivered and where they went.

After the UN Security Council meeting, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov said that Moscow had not vetoed the resolution as it was guided by the interests of the Syrians who are in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time, he noted that not all of Russia’s concerns had been taken into account and talks on the draft resolution could have been continued to finally reach a consensus. He described the mechanism of trans-border operations in Syria as "rudimentary" and called on the United Nations to begin to roll it back.