28 minutes ago, the Russian Federation vetoed the United Nations Security Council vote to extend humanitarian aid to Syria for 12 months. In the same session, the Russian delegation proposed a vote for aid to be extended for six months, which the United States, the United Kingdom, and France have just vetoed.
The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Thomas Greenfield said “this is a very very dark day… people will die”.
As reported earlier by the Washington Post, in early July 2020, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have maintained two border crossing points from Turkey for humanitarian aid to Idlib. Days later, the council authorized the delivery of aid through just one of those crossings, Bab al-Hawa.
In a compromise with Russia, that one-year mandate was extended on July 9, 2021, for six months, with an additional six months subject to a “substantive report” from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. This was effectively a year-long mandate because a second resolution wasn’t needed, and that mandate expires this Sunday.
The Russian Federation worries that a year long aid promise would not represent President Assad’s regime and those materials could fall into the hands of rebel groups as the line of contact constantly shifts, especially with Turkey’s renewed push into Northern Syria.