Russia has vetoed a French resolution on Syria at the UN Security Council. The document was submitted by Paris a week ago and is countered by a Russian draft resolution still to be voted on.
In his statement, the Russian envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that all of the members of the UNSC understood from the beginning that both draft resolutions would not go through.
Churkin urged all sides to restart the Syria peace process, which he said had been “jeopardized” by the radical groups.
The French proposal implied “upgraded” coordination of monitoring of the situation in Syria and reactivating the cessation of hostilities in Aleppo. One of the key points of the proposal was a halt to Syrian and Russian bombardment of East Aleppo. However, Moscow and Damascus repeatedly stressed they are targeting terrorist hideouts there, which have been jeopardizing the cessation of hostilities.
Russia on its part submitted to the UNSC a counter resolution on Syria. According to the document seen by RIA Novosti Moscow calls for an immediate stop of violence in the war ravaged Aleppo. A respective monitoring should be then evaluated by the International Syrian Support Group (ISSG), the document says. One of the key elements of the proposal is an urgent need for a separation of moderate rebels from terrorist groups like al-Nusra in Aleppo, as agreed between Moscow and Washington in Geneva on September 9. According to the latest estimations by the UN between six and eight thousand militants are currently holding the eastern part of Aleppo, with nearly a half estimated to belong or act together with the al-Nusra terrorists.
Russian proposal is also strongly backing calls by the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to allow safe exit for Nusra terrorists in order to bring relief to Aleppo. On Thursday de Mistura said he is willing to personally escort them out.
“If you [Al-Nusra] did decide to leave, in dignity with your weapons, to Idlib or anywhere you wanted to go, I personally am ready, physically ready, to accompany you,” he said.
De Mistura, warned that East Aleppo might be destroyed within two months if the military action in the city continues.