Russia on Tuesday signaled the demise of a long-running United Nations humanitarian operation in Turkey delivering aid to 4 million people in rebel-held northwest Syria after it vetoed a nine-month authorization renewal at the U.N. Security Council.
Russia then failed in its own bid for a six-month extension of the operation, which has been delivering aid including food, medicine and shelter since 2014. The Security Council approval for the aid deliveries expired on Monday.
Russia U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia suggested that the council mandate for the aid operation could not be salvaged.
After casting the veto and before the council vote on Russia’s six-month proposal, Nebenzia said: “If our draft is not supported, then we can just go ahead and close down the cross-border mechanism.
“The technical rollover, for any period of time, we’re not going to accept,” he added.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the United States would continue to work with all council members to renew the aid operation and urged Russia to reconsider its position.