The UN Security Council has passed a resolution on extending cross-border operations to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria, a TASS correspondent reported. Eleven countries voted for the document, while Russia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States abstained.
After more than three hours of closed-door consultations, the parties were able to agree on the parameters for extending the mechanism, which was to expire on January 10. According to the document, aid will be delivered through two checkpoints on the border with Turkey. The mechanism has been extended for six months, after which an assessment of the situation on the ground will be carried out.
Nevertheless, disagreements between the parties persist. Four of five Security Council permanent members abstained. None of them voted against the document so as not to veto it, since that would halt the delivery of UN humanitarian aid.
“Russia abstained for just one purpose – not to block the aid to Idlib, the only province, which still needs cross-border aid,” Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at the session. “It is still unclear to us why a number of delegations refused to take part in negotiations on our alternative version of the resolution. We actually agreed on the same scheme.”
Nebenzya described the delegations’ behavior as “a dangerous political game, in which Syrians become exchange figures.”