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Russia threatens to stop aid entry to northern Syria

UN vehicles enter Syria from Turkey at Cilvegozu border gate, located opposite the Syrian commercial crossing point Bab Al-Hawa in Reyhanli, Hatay province, Turkey, September 16, 2016.
UN vehicles enter Syria from Turkey at Cilvegozu border gate, located opposite the Syrian commercial crossing point Bab Al-Hawa in Reyhanli, Hatay province, Turkey, September 16, 2016. [REUTERS/Osman Orsal]

Russia has threatened to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid into north-western Syria through the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey.

The Russian deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), Dmitry Polyanskiy, stated that his country: "Will not turn a blind eye to the failure of Western countries to comply with the resolution on cross-border humanitarian aid in Syria."

"The mechanism for cross-border aid ends this summer, and among the provisions of the resolution, only one is being implemented today," Polyanskiy added.

He pointed out: "It does not seem that anyone will fulfil all the other provisions, and at the same time, Damascus has proven that deliveries to Idlib across the lines of contact are completely possible."

At the same time, he denounced the West's attempts to link commitments under Resolution 2585 to political preconditions.

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He considered that: "Unilateral Western sanctions are suffocating Syria, and banks and insurance companies are exaggerating their compliance with them."

He also stated: "The use of starvation as a weapon of war contravenes international humanitarian law."

Polyanskiy also called on Western countries to respect the refugees' right to return, in line with Resolution 2254, and not to turn a blind eye to the violations of Resolution 2585, which have become more egregious.

Syria's Response Coordination Group confirmed that the entry of humanitarian aid into north-western Syria through the contact lines was impossible to implement.

The team said that the UN Security Council extended the mandate for cross-border aid delivery to Syria for another six months within Resolution 2585/2021, without a new vote in the council.

Polyanskiy stressed that the humanitarian aid across the contact lines with the regime is insufficient to supply the region with humanitarian needs. He also noted the impossibility of implementing it, especially with the great obstacles that the regime and Russia place on the entry of humanitarian convoys across the contact lines and the exploitation of humanitarian aid by the regime to finance its military operations against civilians.

READ: Foreign kids in Syrian camps could languish for decades if repatriation doesn't speed up, says Save the Children

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