UN, August 1. /TASS/. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has made the decision to establish a special board tasked with the investigation of airstrikes on the Syrian province in Idlib under pressure from various states, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky told reporters on Thursday.
"We regret that there was a pressure on Secretary General from the part of the countries which really don’t want to bring peace in Syria," Polyansky said. "We have a lot of doubts and questions about whether he has the prerogative to set such investigation, whether he has such rights."
Earlier on Thursday, the UN Secretariat informed that the organization’s Secretary General decided to establish a special board tasked with the investigation of airstrikes on civil infrastructure objects in Syria’s Idlib. Earlier, ten member states of the UN Security Council (the UK, France, the US, Germany, Belgium, Peru, Poland, Kuwait, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia) sent a request urging to carry out such an investigation.
On Tuesday, during the UN Security Council session, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock claimed at the session citing satellite data that "for more than 90 days now, bombing and shelling by the government of Syria backed by the Russian Federation has produced carnage in the so-called de-escalation zone of Idlib."
In response, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya called on "the United Nations Secretariat and the [world] organization’s specialized agencies not to make haste by publishing unverified information." "The data should be taken from reliable and non-politicized sources, which must be re-verified. Russia was said today to be intentionally conducting strikes against hospitals. It is a lie," he stressed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has no authority to establish a special board tasked with the investigation of the Idlib airstrikes.
"We also note that A. Guterres has explained his decision by citing Article 97 of the UN Charter, which says: "The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such staff as the Organization may require. The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. He shall be the chief administrative officer of the Organization." It is absolutely unclear how these definitions can be interpreted as to give him the authority to create "an investigation board"," the ministry pointed out.