Putin does not assure renewal of Syria cross-border aid access will take place, says U.S. official

A diplomatic showdown is expected to occur on the 10th of July at the United Nations Security Council.

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At a meeting on Wednesday between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, a commitment was not secured from Putin with regards to the renewal of the United Nations cross-border aid operation.

A senior administration official stated that at the meeting, the importance of the cross-border operation to engage in further cooperation on Syria with Russia was underlined. The U.S. official described the upcoming meeting at the Security Council as a test to see whether the United States and Russia could work together.

The status of the last border crossing designated for cross-border operations, Bab el-Hawa, will be re-evaluated on July 10. Washington and several other members of the Security Council are seeking to expand the operation. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the matter was a life-or-death vote.

The renewal of the mandate for the operation requires nine votes in favor and no veto from any of the permanent members of the Council: Russia, China, the United States, the UK, and France. In the past years, arguments surfaced over how to approach the issue of Syria. In total, Russia has vetoed 16 resolutions related to Syria, with the backing of China in some instances.

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