New York, 24 June 2021 (dpa/MIA) – United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday issued an urgent warning over the expiration of a UN resolution on aid deliveries that is set to expire next month.
The arrangement allows the United Nations to deliver crucial aid through Turkey to millions of needy people in parts of Syria not controlled by the government. Guterres said that alternative aid deliveries from the capital, Damascus, held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as promoted by Russia, are not an option.
He appealed to the UN Security Council to extend the resolution, set to expire on July 10, or else the consequences would be devastating.
The UN resolution in place since 2014 allows the United Nations to deliver critical aid through border crossings, even to parts of Syria not controlled by the government. After Russian opposition, the number of crossings has dwindled from four to currently one.
However, based on a recent letter from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Guterres, in which Lavrov says Russia cannot agree with the assessment that there is no alternative to the current aid mechanism, Russia appears to be preparing the ground to veto the extension of the resolution sought by most countries in the council.
Russia is one of al-Assad’s most important allies. Closing the last border crossing would strengthen his position against the rebels as well as regions not under his control.