Nebenzya says Syria's cross-border aid mechanism potential exhausted

28 April 2023

The potential of the Syrian cross-border aid mechanism was exhausted long ago, and it is now being used for goals that have little or no relation to humanitarian aid, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at Thursday's session of the UN Security Council in New York.


According to him, Western-covered Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (a terrorist group banned in Russia) fighters "openly disrupt cross-line convoys to Idlib, demanding a bribe for their passage to those in need." "By acting in this way, they defy the international community and our Security Council. We cannot tolerate the fact that only ten convoys have been sent to the de-escalation zone since August 2021 (the last and only one this year was on January 8), despite the Council's consensus decisions. In addition, there have been three limited missions to Tell Abyad," said the Russian Federation's permanent representative.

"It looks like permission to use two additional checkpoints for three months issued by Damascus has de facto zeroed out UN enthusiasm to unblock deliveries via the contact lines," Nebenzya said. - "We would like to emphasize that if our Western colleagues in the UN Security Council keep pretending that nothing is happening and keep ignoring the fact that internationally recognized terrorists are sabotaging the Security Council decision, then we will draw the necessary conclusions from this situation when elaborating our position in the context of the forthcoming prolongation of the cross-border mechanism in July. It exhausted its potential long ago and serves very different goals, which are far from humanitarian goals. The tragic events of February were a clear demonstration of that."

The diplomat noted that problems caused by the negative impact of Western sanctions on international humanitarian efforts in Syria are intensifying. "We continue to urge the UN not to gloss over or disguise the issue and give it a proper assessment," he said. - <...> "All the assurances by the US and its allies of the targeted nature of the sanctions and supposedly effective exemptions would sound particularly hypocritical today."

"The 'double game' of our Western colleagues and their attempts to use humanitarian leverage as an instrument of pressure on Damascus have become too obvious for the UN leadership to continue to ignore. It's time to call things by their proper names," the diplomat said. - "Without honest assessments and a sincere desire on the part of Security Council members to help all Syrians in need, there is little point in fighting for preserving the current parameters for humanitarian aid to Syria set by the Council. The choice is up to our Western colleagues."



GSV "Russia - Islamic world"

Photo: official website of the President of the Russian Federation

Based on materials from TASS