Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said Thursday that the shipment of heavy construction vehicles to Syria is hampered by Western sanctions.
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During a UN Security Council meeting, Nebenzya pointed to the "bureaucratic excuse" of Washington and Brussels, claiming that "the reason is the same as with fertilizer for Syria: it is a 'dual-purpose' product."
"Despite the so-called humanitarian exemptions, it is impossible to send heavy construction vehicles to Syria, which are extremely necessary for clearing the rubble in the ruined areas of the government-controlled territories," the Russian Permanent Representative said.
The diplomat called on the UN Secretariat "not to cover up for Washington and Brussels," noting that "the effect of reinsurance in the banking sphere, which undermines the efforts of humanitarian organizations, has also gone nowhere."
Deadly earthquakes on February 6 in war-torn Syria and neighboring Türkiye left more than 56 000 dead and millions displaced.
According to Tareq Talahama, Acting Director of the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, World Bank figures suggest that the tragedy caused some 5.2 billion dollars in losses.
Some 2.2 million people have received food aid to date, while about 380 000 people have received water and sanitation services, Tareq Talahama said in an update on the earthquake response.
The Acting Director called for further action to ensure that "humanitarian aid can reach communities in a safe, predictable and timely manner."