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Syria ceasefire resolution should not be used as pretext for military action — UN envoy

Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya PA-EFE/PETER FOLEY
Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya

UN, February 24. /TASS/. During negotiations on a UN Security Council resolution on ceasefire in Syria, Russia sought to prevent the document from becoming a pretext for military action in Syria, Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, said on Saturday.

"The reason why we negotiated for so long on this resolution is that we wanted to make sure that it is not used as a pretext for any military action," he said. "We heard some worried comments on that in recent days and including today, some of them very bellicose. And we said it clearly that we won’t let anyone to interpret this resolution as a pretext for military action," the Russian diplomat said.

On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council in a unanimous vote approved the resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire across Syria to allow aid access to the population. According to the document, the ceasefire should enter force without delay. The initial draft, prepared by Kuwait and Sweden, stipulated that the ceasefire must begin 72 hours after the resolution is passed.

Although Western powers pressed for the adoption of the resolution amid worsening situation in East Ghouta, a militant-controlled suburb of Damascus, the Russian diplomat said the document envisages ceasefire throughout Syria. A similar statement was made by Syrian envoy Bashar Jaafari, who demanded that the ceasefire must also be observed in Afrin and Golan Heights.