Russia, China Abstain from Security Council Vote on Aid to Syria Bypassing Damascus

 UNITED NATIONS- Russia and China on Thursday abstained from the UN Security Council vote to extend the delivery of humanitarian cargo to Syria from the territory of neighboring states bypassing Damascus.

The resolution was supported by 13 member states. Russia and China abstained.

In line with the document, the so-called trans-border operations will be extended for one year and no permission from Syria’s official government is required for them, according to Itar Tass.

The document demands that all sides provide free, unimpeded and stable access to humanitarian convoys of UN and its partners to any region and any group of population.


Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya said Russia did not support the mechanism, because it was "non-transparent," but decided not to block it for humanitarian reasons and following requests from Russia’s partners in the region.

"New factors on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic necessitate the need of this mechanism’s drastic overhaul with an eye on winding it up, gradually but inevitably," he said. "Our choice was based on the fact that this was not reflected in the resolution."

China’s UN Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu stressed that "the principle of non-politicization of humanitarian assistance must be preserved."

"We need to fully respect sovereignty and integrity of Syria. Special attention should be paid to coordination with the Syrian government, in order to prevent the humanitarian cargo from falling into the hands of terrorists," he said. "Our concerns regarding those matters were not taken into account in full, we believe that this draft could have been adjusted."

OPCW Probe into Syria Chemical Attacks a ‘Propaganda Stunt: Nebenzya

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)’s approach to the investigation into the purported use of chemical weapons in Syria is a "propaganda stunt," Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, has said during a Security Council session Thursday, Itar Tass reported.

"Gentlemen, all this is so clumsy," he told his colleagues during the UN Security Council session, commenting on the organization's probe into the latest alleged chlorine attack in Aleppo. "Your propaganda stunt is more than obvious."

"When a staged chemical attack was carried out in Eastern Ghouta [in April], the Syrian government was blamed for it," he continued. "The results of this investigation are still unknown. Experts are still gathering something… Maybe, because admitting that it was a provocation would mean sharing the responsibility for the illegal aggression, to which this provocation was used as a pretext."

"Now that we have reliable information about the use of chlorine projectiles by militants, who also used them in the past - and this was confirmed by our foreign partners, too - they invented a new tactics: to accuse Syria and Russia of misinformation and falsifications," Nebenzya added, Tass said.