- Germany has announced that it will continue efforts to reach a compromise and criticized Russia and China's veto.
- Russia and China argue that the UN aid program violates Syria's sovereignty.
- Russia submitted a different draft with its own demands.
Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, which jeopardizes humanitarian aid for civilians in northwestern Syria. The draft resolution was prepared by Germany and Belgium, with the 13 other members of the Council giving their approval.
Germany has announced that it will continue efforts to reach a compromise and criticized Russia and China’s veto. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the vetoes were “all the more incomprehensible, since the text presented was already a compromise.”
The German government’s “full force” stressed that the situation will be “disaster” in the north of Syria. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said that the coronavirus has made the situation worse, and that about 2,800,000 people in the northwest of Syria need food aid from the UN.
“We’re ashamed by what this council has to do right now because of the cynical attempts of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China to put politics above the lives of the Syrian people,” U.S. Minister-Counselor Rodney Hunter said.
“The only thing that’s harming the people of Syria and preventing them from getting the assistance that they need is the Assad regime being helped out by the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation,” he said.
Why did Russia and China Veto?
Russia and China, permanent members of the UNSC, argue that the UN aid program, which has not been formally approved by the Damascus government, violates Syria’s sovereignty. The United Nations humanitarian aid program for the Idlib province of Syria, launched in 2014, ends on Friday.
With previous decisions taken at UNSC, the UN could send humanitarian aid to the region without the approval of the Syrian government. Humanitarian assistance in the first year that the program has started in Iraq, was provided out of a total of four border crossings in Jordan and Turkey.
However, at the beginning of this year, it was decided that the aid should be delivered through two border gates instead of four, and the duration of the aid program would be extended for six months instead of one year. According to the present system to help Turkey’s Öncüpınar border crossing, opposite Babüssel Cilvegözü, up and transported across the border crossing from Syria Babülhava.
Russia recommends the extension of the six-month duration of the assistance program, and only the delivery of aid to the region from across Turkey’s Cilvegozu border crossing Babülhava. Russia wants the Syrian government to “gradually end” the existing aid mechanism as a result of the increased influence in the country, and to create a new system to deliver aid.
It is stated that after the rejection of the resolution draft prepared by Germany and Belgium, Russia will present the draft resolution to the UNSC that includes these demands. However, if this draft resolution is submitted for voting, there is no chance for it to be accepted by other members.
Despite this, it is stated that Moscow is in a stronger position in the negotiations and that it can give up this mechanism if there is no consensus for the cross-border aid program.