EU criticizes Russia’s veto on Syria aid deliveries

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The EU on Wednesday slammed Russia’s UN Security Council veto on continuing aid deliveries to the last opposition enclave in Syria, calling it “further politicization of humanitarian assistance” that puts lives at risk.

Russia’s decision Tuesday to block a nine-month extension of a deal providing for aid deliveries via neighboring Turkey “will further exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in northwest Syria,” the European Commission said in a statement.

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The veto will also “gravely disrupt the delivery of life-saving humanitarian supplies to millions in need,” it said.

The statement, issued by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and EU crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic, called on the UN Security Council to find a way to get the aid route reopened.

“The halting of cross-border delivery will lead to the loss of the only lifeline for more than four million people living in northwest Syria, including almost three million internally displaced persons,” said the statement.

“We urge the Russian Federation not to unnecessarily exacerbate the suffering of millions of Syrian people.

“The European Union deplores the veto by the Russian Federation in the UN Security Council on 11 July 2023 on the renewal of the United Nation Security Council Resolution... regarding cross-border delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in Northwest Syria.”

Russia is, along with Iran, the main ally to Syria’s government which is fighting an opposition triggered by Damascus’s brutal repression of protesters in 2011.

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