Humanitarian Aid Blocked To Syria: EU Deplores Russian Veto

The European Commissioner for Crisis Management and the head of European diplomacy have denounced a “politicization of humanitarian aid” which puts lives in danger

The European Union on Wednesday deplored Russia’s veto the day before in the Security Council on an extension of the cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism to Syria, seeing it as a “politicization of humanitarian aid” which puts lives in danger. .

“Stopping cross-border aid will mean the loss of the single line of supply on which more than four million people living in northwestern Syria depend, including nearly three million displaced people,” they said. in a press release the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, and the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrel.

“We call on the Russian Federation not to gratuitously aggravate the suffering of millions of Syrians,” they added.

After a Russian veto, the UN Security Council on Tuesday failed to extend the mechanism for cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria, at least temporarily closing a vital passageway for millions of people in rebel areas of the country.

The 15 members of the Council had been trying for days to find a compromise to extend this mechanism which allows food, water or medicine to be sent from Turkey, through the Bal al-Hawa border post and without authorization from Damascus, to the inhabitants. of northwestern Syria.

A majority of Council members called for an extension of at least one year to allow for better aid planning.

Faced with opposition from Russia, which insisted on only six months, Switzerland and Brazil, in charge of this file, finally proposed a compromise of nine months.

Compromise which Russia, a key ally of Damascus, vetoed on Tuesday, preventing its adoption despite 13 votes in favor, and one abstention: China.

According to the UN, the mechanism, which expired on Monday, was helping 2.7 million people each month.

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