UN approves cross-border aid to rebel areas in Syria
UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council has approved the delivery of humanitarian aid across borders and conflict lines in Syria for another year, with Russia urging a gradual end to the program that has helped millions of people in rebel-held areas.
The council voted 12-0 on Tuesday to extend the mandate of the cross-border convoys, with Russia, China and Bolivia abstaining.
Last month, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia demanded changes in the resolution, saying the program "undermines sovereignty of Syria."
The resolution added a request to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to conduct an independent review of cross-border operations, which Russia welcomed.
But Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said the situation in Syria "has changed radically and the mechanism for cross-border deliveries remains a legacy of the past" and should gradually end.