Russia vetoes Western draft to extend aid through Turkey to Syria
Russia uses its veto right to vote against a draft Security Council resolution calling for an extension of UN aid to Syria via Turkey for a year.
In a Security Council session today, Friday, Russia used its veto against a Western draft resolution calling for the extension of sending aid from the United Nations to Syria through Turkey without Damascus' consent for one year; Moscow has accepted the extension for six months only.
"We regret that the efforts of the delegations of Ireland and Norway, the pen holders on the humanitarian dossier, didn't find the best way of resolving the issue," Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said, pointing out that the resolution did not include Damascus' interests.
A draft resolution by Norway and Ireland stipulates "extending the use of the Bab Al-Hawa crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border, through which hundreds of aid trucks pass per month, until July 10, 2023."
Thirteen council members supported the Western draft resolution, while Russia opposed it and China abstained from the vote. In this context, a draft resolution submitted by Russia failed to be adopted after a double veto by the US and the UK.
The Bab Al-Hawa crossing is the only crossing through which aid can be transported to areas outside the control of the Syrian government in and around Idlib, without passing through areas controlled by the Syrian government, and it has been used by the United Nations since 2014.
In this regard, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the United Nations commented on the veto by saying that she refuses to let this outcome be "the end of the story."
US, UK, France Veto Russian UNSC Resolution to Extend Cross-border Aid Mechanism for Syria
On the other hand, a Russian UN Security Council resolution to extend the system that permits cross-border assistance deliveries into northwest Syria via Turkey was blocked on Friday by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
"You always say that you want the situation to improve. But in fact, it's shown that all of this was cunning, and it was false. Today that's what's been demonstrated about the situation with the cross-border mechanism," Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said after the vote on the Russian resolution.
The US, UK, and France opposed the extension, arguing that it would not give them enough time to plan operations. The resolution would have prolonged the mechanism for six months.
Polanski said, “If someone proposes our draft, we will not say that this is our intellectual property; if someone proposes our draft for the second time, why not."
"If not, then I think the page is turned,” Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy concluded.
Syrian Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh expressed disappointment that the Russian draft was not approved.
After the vote, Sabbagh said: “My delegation regrets that the balanced draft resolution provided and tabled by the Russian Federation was not adopted."
"We deplore the fact that the three Western countries, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, have been so insistent on misleading and disregarding the genuine and objective concerns expressed by my country and the Russian Federation and other countries,” Sabbagh concluded.