The Russian envoy to the UN told an emergency meeting of the security council on the situation in eastern Ghouta that Russia would not support the ceasefire resolution put forward by Sweden and Kuwait in its present form, calling it unrealistic.
The UN ceasefire resolution put forward by Sweden and Kuwait was first circulated in the security council on 9 February but its drafting had been slowed by Russian objections, while in Syria, the Assad regime and its allies pursued its offensive in eastern Ghouta. On Thursday, Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog said:
“We are trying to find a way forward,”
said after the meeting, adding that he was “leaning towards a vote” on Friday.
According to Mr Nebenzia, the Security Council needs to reach a “feasible” agreement on a ceasefire and not take a decision that would be “severed from reality”.
Kremlin has vetoed 10 previous UN resolutions on Syria and has consistently used its permanent seat on the security council to shield the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, from concerted UN action on war crimes. In November, Russia used its veto to block a resumption of UN investigations into the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces.
“The mass psychosis in global media outlets acting in coordination, disseminating the same rumours in recent days, in no way does anything to help improve understanding of this situation,”
the Russian ambassador to the UN told the council session that Russia had called.
The eastern Ghouta ceasefire is still under question
Outside the UN headquarters in New York, a coalition of aid groups put up three billboards, inspired by the film “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” that read: “500,000 dead in Syria. And still no action? How come Security Council?”