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Wed Jul 8, 2020, 06:55 PM

Syrian food and vaccines at risk as Russia uses UN veto to scupper aid plan

Source: The Guardian

Syrian food and vaccines at risk as Russia uses UN veto to scupper aid plan

Frantic talks after Moscow blocks draft security council resolution and agrees to only one border crossing point

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor
Wed 8 Jul 2020 14.48 BST
Last modified on Wed 8 Jul 2020 15.10 BST

Frantic talks are being held after Russia was accused of a “despicable and dangerous” use of its veto at the UN security council to block a draft resolution that would have renewed cross-border humanitarian aid to civilians in Syria.

The veto came at the close of months of negotiations between security council members over the number of cross-border aid points that should be kept open, a dispute fuelled by the Syrian regime’s determination to control the supply of international humanitarian aid to the country.

Bashar al-Assad’s government believes control over aid will bring greater political control and a reassertion of its sovereignty following a nine-year civil war.

The UN cross-border aid delivery mechanism, set up in 2014 and renewed ever since, is due to expire on Friday, and talks are under way to see what Russia, which backs the Assad regime, will tolerate.

Moscow’s representatives on the security council objected to any more than a six-month renewal, and would agree to just one crossing. Twelve months ago there had been four.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/08/syrian-food-and-vaccines-at-risk-as-russia-uses-un-veto-to-scupper-aid-plan

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