Russia Blocks Security Council Statement on Idlib Due to Attempts to Misrepresent Situation

THE UNITED NATIONS- Russia has blocked a United Nations Security Council statement on the humanitarian situation in Syria due to attempts to misrepresent the situation in Idlib, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov told TASS on Friday.

"We have not passed and blocked the press elements drafted by our humanitarian troika comprising Belgium, Germany and Kuwait, which were meant to misrepresent the situation in Idlib," he said, according to Tass.

Russia and the United States continue professional dialogue about the current situation in Syria’s Idlib, Safronkov told TASS.

 "Talks are ongoing with US counterparts via professional channels, both military and political," he assured answering TASS questions about the closed-door session of the UN Security Council on Syria.

"People discuss the situation, so to speak, with facts and maps in hands," the diplomat added. "Therefore, ‘a virtual reality’ should not be created at the Security Council as they claim there is no dialogue. Genuinely, practical work is ongoing out of touch with cameras, newspapers and journalists".

"We emphasize that the political foundation for work on Syria should be the preservation of Syria’s sovereignty not on paper but in real life," he stressed. "The [UN] Security Council will have to do lots to overcome conceptual gaps in the understanding of the situation."

On Friday, the UN Security Council held a closed-door extra session on the humanitarian situation in Syria requested by Germany, Belgium and Kuwait, which over the past days voiced their "concern over the situation in the region".

On May 4, Major-General Viktor Kupchishin, chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria, told reporters that groups of militants in the south of the de-escalation zone Idlib led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) were creating a strike force and their attack on Hama was not ruled out.

On May 6, Kupchishin said that Russia’s Hmeymim airbase came under shelling by militants twice during the day. In both cases, shelling was conducted from the settlement of Zawiya in the Idlib de-escalation zone.