Russia, China veto UN Security Council resolution on Syria

Russia and China on Tuesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to extend UN aid deliveries from Turkey to Syria, Germany's UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen told dpa.

The two countries sided against the remaining 11 members of the Security Council to block the resolution, giving the UN body until Friday to agree on an extension of aid deliveries before the current resolution expires. The current resolution has allowed the UN to bring vital relief to the war torn country since 2014 via border crossings that are not controlled by the Syrian government, forming a vital lifeline for millions of Syrians.

Russia, the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has sought to place the delivery of aid through border crossings that are controlled by the Syrian government. After successfully pushing the UN to stop sending aid through two of four border crossings, Russia now wants to restrict all UN aid to one crossing along the Turkey-Syria border.

"It’s impossible to overstate the importance of ensuring the crossing points, delivering vital aid, stay open. For millions of Syrians, it is the difference between having food to eat and starving," Sherine Tadros, head of Amnesty International’s UN office, said. "For hospitals, it is about having enough supplies to save lives. That’s why Russia and China’s abuse of the veto power is despicable and dangerous," she added.

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