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Russia, China veto new edition of Western UNSC draft on humanitarian aid to Syria

The decision was not adopted due to voting against by two permanent members

UNITED NATIONS, July 10. /TASS/. Russia and China have vetoed another edition of the West’s United Nations Security Council draft resolution on cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria.

Thirteen nations voted in favor of the draft, and two voted against it.

The decision was not adopted due to voting against by two permanent members, said Germany’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Christoph Heusgen, who chairs the Security Council in July.

According to UN sources, the document was vetoed by Russia and China. Due to the quarantine measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, decision making procedures in the Security Council are carried out in the written form.

The document, initiated by Germany and Belgium, provided for the extension of cross-border humanitarian deliveries via two checkpoints at the border with Turkey by six months.

Russia insists assistance be delivered via one checkpoint.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said earlier that the cross-border humanitarian assistance mechanism in Syria should be scaled down as the situation on the ground had changed, with more and more territories being controlled by the government. He insisted that assistance be delivered from inside the country in coordination with Damascus, in full compliance with international humanitarian law.

In a joint statement after the voting, Germany and Belgium expressed deep regret over its being vetoed by Russia and China. They said their initiative was a compromise solution as compared with the initial edition as the extension period had been shortened from one year to six months.

The decision to launch cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria was passed in July 2014 as a response measure to the dramatic decrease in access to the population because of heated hostilities. Thus, Resolution 2165 stipulates the establishment of several checkpoints at Syria’s borders and the deployment of a United Nations monitoring mission to inspect incoming cargoes to prevent weapons supplies.

In January 2020, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution extending the cross-border aid mechanism for six months but reducing the number of checkpoints from four to two.