A UN Security Council resolution that would have extended cross-border aid to Syria by one year without Damascus’s backing has been vetoed by Russia.
The authorization for aid deliveries across the Syria-Turkey border at Bab al-Hawa is set to expire on Sunday and has been in effect since 2014. The aid is a lifeline for more than 2.4 million people in the northwestern Idlib region of Syria.
Among 15 council members, 13 voted in favor of the text.
While Russia’s preferred option of a six-month extension with the option of another six months is opposed by other states, China, which often votes the same way as Russia, chose to abstain from the vote itself.
Russia’s proposal creates significant organizational challenges for NGOs on the front line, the opposing members believe. Despite being scrapped following a disagreement between Russia and the West, the vote had been set for Thursday.
Observers note that Sunday’s deadline still leaves time for members of the Security Council to find common ground.