Russia, China support unclear for UN Syria aid vote

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Russia, China support unclear for UN Syria aid vote

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As the fighting continues in Syria, the UN Security Council is set to vote on a draft resolution to boost humanitarian aid access, perhaps as early as Friday.

However, it is unclear if Russia and China will veto it.

The text – put forward by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg – includes demands for cross-border aid access, no more shelling and aerial bombardment – including barrel bombs – and calls on all parties to end sieges of densely populated areas immediately.

It also threatens unspecified “further steps” in the event of non-compliance.

The resolution’s sponsors had hoped to get Moscow’s backing by including some wording from an alternative Russian text.

Russia – which has shielded Syria from UN Security Council condemnations during the three-year civil war there – has said it would only support a resolution that is not “politicised”.

Moscow and Beijing are two of the five veto-wielding powers on the
15-member council.

They have previously vetoed three resolutions condemning Syria’s government and threatening it with possible sanctions.

The United Nations says 9.3 million people in Syria need help.

UN aid chief Valerie Amos last week urged the UN Security Council to act to increase humanitarian access. Amos has repeatedly expressed frustration that violence and red tape have slowed aid deliveries to a trickle.