Russia, China veto UN Security Council resolution on Aleppo ceasefire

TASS– Russia and China have vetoed a Un Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Syrian Aleppo. The document was supported by 11 countries members of the Security Council, while Russia, China and Venezuela voted against. Angola abstained.

The draft resolution was not passed as two permanent members voted against, Security Council President Roman Marchesi (Spain) said. To have a UN Security Council document approved, it must be supported by nine countries on condition that none of the permanent members – Russia, the UK, China, the US and France – votes against.

The resolution drafted by Egypt, Spain and New Zealand demands a truce in Syrian Aleppo for at least seven days. Under their plan, this pause in warfare would make it possible to deliver aid to the embattled city and create conditions for restarting negotiations on a political settlement of the Syrian conflict.

Prior to the voting, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said putting the resolution to vote was in violation of Council rule of procedure, under which the vote should take place no earlier than 24 hours after the final version of a draft is submitted to the Security Council.

‘The vote cannot take place before 11 a.m. local time tomorrow (19:00 Moscow time),” he said.

He said additional time could let the UN Security Council members “to take account of certain new circumstances and arrive at a consensus resolution” that would help to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria in practice.

He said the co-authors of the resolution had come under pressure from the US, the UK and France. The UN ambassador said such actions were provocative and undermining international efforts towards a peaceful settlement in Syria.

He reminded that at their meeting in Rome on December 2, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry agreed “to organize in Geneva the work of experts to settle the problem of eastern Aleppo”. He said the plan discussed by the two countries envisages a full withdrawal of militants from the eastern neighborhoods of the city.

He said it was planned to first “coordinate the routes and the timeframe for the withdrawal. Only when this happens a ceasefire will be put in place that will make it possible to evacuate militants”. This could efficiently settle the problem of eastern Aleppo with ensuring the safety of civilians, uninterrupted delivery of humanitarian aid and normalization of the situation on the whole, he said.