Russia concerned by ‘humanitarian’ cash flows to terrorists

I am perplexed by the format of today’s meeting that does not include official representatives of the Syrian government, – Russian Ambassador to EU Vladimir Chizhov said, addressing II Conference on Future Syria in Brussels.

“It looks strange, to say the least, that the distinguished delegates are planning to help Syria in a situation when official contacts with the legitimate government of the country have for many years remained a taboo for European politicians, and some states have even been promising “not to give a cent” until political change takes place in Syria“, Ambassador continued. He added that Russia supports Syria in its determination to defeat the main military and political stronghold of terrorists, ISIS (Daesh).

Amb.Chizhov draw attention to established by Russia, Turkey and Iran Astana format of talks in support of the Syrian settlement, which “genuinely enabled progress” towards a political solution to be attained via a broad intra-Syrian dialogue and talks under UN auspices as envisaged by UNSC Resolution 2254.  The Sochi Congress of Syrian National Dialogue was another contribution to the process, he continued.

“We are convinced that the key to success on this track lies with ensuring compliance of all influential international and regional actors with their obligations regarding the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic” – Amb.Chizhov confirmed.

Sharing the view on humanitarian assistance to the population. Ambassador mentioned those civilians caught in military operations in Eastern Ghouta, Aleppo, the villages of al-Fu’ah and Kefraya still besieged by terrorists.

Chizhov reminded about inhabitants of Raqqa, the city “totally destroyed by US-led coalition bombings and half-forgotten by the international community“, or the Rukban camp for IDPs with no access available due to a 50 km “security zone” around al-Tanf unilaterally established by the US“.

Ambassador finds “surprising” a phenomenon of declaring “humanitarian catastrophe” on the territories controlled by militants. However as soon as the Syrian armed forces liberated Aleppo, or Eastern Ghouta from terrorists, the international community virtually went crying loud that a humanitarian catastrophe was allegedly unfolding there. “This was as long as militants were there. But once the issue was resolved nobody cared about the future of Syrians who had been living and continue to live there” – Chizhov regretted.

He pointed at Western  financial and economic sanctions as “inhuman‘, “suffocating“, and “counterproductivee”, denying the Syrian people the restoration of social and economic infrastructure. “Devastation, extreme poverty and despair form a fertile soil for new extremism to emerge and preserve conflict potential for many years ahead” – Chizhov warned.

Russia is seriously concerned by the forms and mechanisms of providing humanitarian aid by the West, while  transferring it directly to recipients in the form of cash, which allows to diverted to purposes quite different from those the donors are willing to achieve. “Cases are known when aid received was then sold at exorbitant prices, the proceeds from such trade used to buy weapons for terrorists, recruit new militants” – Chizov revealed.

Ambassador called for establishing close cooperation between potential donors and legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic to facilitate humanitarian aid access, and genuine improvement of the situation for people of Syria.



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