Russia 'would veto UN resolution on Aleppo ceasefire'

Russia 'would veto UN resolution on Aleppo ceasefire'
Russia says it will veto a drafted UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Aleppo and the grounding of all aircraft, which would include Moscow's, over the besieged Syrian city.
2 min read
07 October, 2016
The Russian and Syrian bombing campaigns in Aleppo have triggered global outrage [AFP]
Russia threatened on Friday to use its veto to block a draft resolution that demands an immediate end to airstrikes and military flights over Syria’s northern city of Aleppo.

"This is not a draft which is right for adoption, I have this suspicion that the real motive is to cause a Russian veto," said Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said, "I cannot possibly see how we can let this resolution pass."

The 15-member council has been holding negotiations for the past week over the text, drafted by France and Spain, which calls for an end to the bombing of Aleppo, access for aid deliveries and a halt to all military flights over the city.

Following a closed-door Security Council meeting on Syria, Churkin said the measure was "hastily put together," adding, "I believe this is not designed to make progress, but to cause a Russian veto."

"It is unprecedented for the members of the council to ask a permanent member to limit its own activities," he said.

"I'm supposed to vote for a demand that then our military will have to comply with. It doesn't mean that certain things cannot happen but they can't happen through a certain process, which is definitely not putting a resolution with this kind of text on the table."

French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the resolution has "very strong support" within the UN Council and that "there was no time to waste" for addressing the unfolding disaster in Aleppo.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the vote on Saturday would be a "moment of truth for all the Security Council members."

The draft resolution expressed "outrage at the alarming number of civilian casualties caused by the escalating level of violence and intensified campaigns, in recent days, of indiscriminate aerial bombings in Aleppo," Reuters reported.

To be adopted, the measure will need nine votes in favour and no vetoes.

"I still have hope that the resolution will pass and that it can be implemented," Ayrault said following talks in Washington with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Russian and Syrian regime bombing campaigns in Aleppo have triggered global outrage, with the US demanding a war crimes investigation.