The Russian authorities are hopeful that the draft resolution on humanitarian aid access to Syria that is currently being debated by the UN Security Council will eventually be adopted, Moscow's Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters.
"I believe that the humanitarian resolution will be discussed in the first place as a priority. In my opinion, it will include some strongly worded references to terrorism, but it does not mean that we will stop pushing for the adoption of the [UN] Security Council President's statement on counterterrorism," Churkin said.
"I cannot say that we are far away from this now. We share an understanding of the gravity of the humanitarian situation in Syria," he said.
The U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power, for her part, said that the United States would seek the adoption of a tough-worded resolution submitted by the West. UN Under Secretary of State for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, who took part in the UN Security Council session, said that some 1,400 civilians have been evacuated from the Syrian city of Homs over the past few days.
Amos called it a success secured in the extremely complicated conditions, but not progress, adding that another 250,000 people are still awaiting evacuation.
On February 12, Russia submitted its own draft resolution concerning the humanitarian situation in Syria to the UN Security Council as an alternative to the document proposed by Western countries.
Russia also criticized the Western draft resolution, saying that it may effectively impose sanctions on the Syrian authorities in the future.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday in relation to the West-proposed document that "it appears that now they attempt to use the humanitarian topic, same as the topic of chemical weapons that was recently used, in order to find a pretext to undermine the political process, to accuse the regime in Damascus of everything and to create a pretext to return to a military scenario with the purpose of changing the regime."
"We think that this is absolutely counterproductive," Lavrov said.
Russia has put forward its own UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria, according to media reports from New York, citing UN diplomatic sources. Read more>>>