25 February 201812:41

Press release on the adoption of UN Security Resolution 2401 on Syria

320-25-02-2018

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On February 24, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which demands the cessation of hostilities in Syria.

The Russian party supported the draft document (which was prepared by the delegations of Kuwait and Sweden), with a view to easing the suffering of civilians in the Syrian Arab Republic and with regard to the inclusion of our main comments following long-term intense discussions.

It is vitally important that we succeeded in not allowing the resolution to approve the directive and therefore unrealistic ceasefire measure insisted on by Western countries: the current document urges the parties to the conflict to cease hostilities, adhere to the agreements reached earlier and to hold talks on general de-escalation and establishing humanitarian pauses all over the country. Naturally, there can be no ceasefire on New York’s instructions without any concrete agreements between Syrian parties.

 We expect that foreign patrons of anti-government armed groups will finally do their homework and adhere to the ceasefire in the interests of the soonest and safe passage of humanitarian aid convoys. We will be monitoring this closely. Maybe somebody did not know or purposely ignored that there had been talks with militants in eastern Ghouta on a ceasefire, but they rejected all options given to them. Moreover, they refused to release civilians, whom they use as a human shield, from the areas they control, and hindered humanitarian corridors.

In this context, we are satisfied that the UN Security Council noted the work by Iran, Russia and Turkey as guarantor countries of the Astana peace process, in the de-escalation zones to reduce the violence as a step towards the national ceasefire.

The resolution states expressly that it does not apply to the military operations against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and related organisations and other terrorist groups. This fight will continue despite the attempts of certain players to use the Terrorist International and related groups of opposition militants adhering to it in order to implement their plans still being plotted to topple the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic and divide the country. Terrorists will not get a break.

In fact, for the first time in many years the UN Security Council condemned the shelling of Damascus, which frequently struck the Russian diplomatic mission and which killed hundreds of civilians and damaged civilian infrastructure.

The humanitarian situation in Raqqa is grave. It is the direct consequence of combat operations by the US-led so-called coalition that is in Syria illegally. The resolution emphasises the task of providing humanitarian aid to the Rukban camp for internally displaced persons, which the US hinders, while, in violation of Syrian sovereignty, occupying vast areas for deploying their military base near Al-Tanf.

It is important that the resolution calls for the urgent acceleration of humanitarian activity in Syria related to mine clearance. It reaffirms the demand to demilitarise medical facilities, schools and other civilian facilities where, as we know, militants often camp.

In general, the resolution acknowledges that the humanitarian crisis has swept not only across Eastern Ghouta and Idlib, but also other regions of the country. Aid must be provided in an impartial way and must not depend on reaching certain political goals, as it often does in Western capitals.

By accepting the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution, we will prevent in the harshest way attempts to inspire anti-Russian and anti-Syria hysteria and derail the political settlement process, which got a new lease of life following the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

Russia, being a guarantor country of the Astana peace process and a responsible member of the international community, will continue working with all Syrian parties in the interests of settling the conflict as soon as possible, reaching a truce between those who want it in fact rather than in word, and eradicating the terrorism threat.

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