Sanctions must end to ease Syrian suffering: Russia

Moscow, Oct 1 (IANS/ITAR -TASS) Economic sanctions are causing suffering and hardship to millions of Syrians and also “a massive exodus of refugees”, Russia has told the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Restrictions imposed without authorisation from the UN Security Council must be lifted immediately, Aleksey Borodavkin, Russia’s permanent ambassador to the UN office in Geneva, told the UNHCR’s executive committee.
Five million people were internally displaced in the strife-torn country, twice the number of refugees, Borodavkin said.
If international help did not reach them, “these people, who were already forced to leave their homes, can continue the exodus and will put an additional load on neighbouring countries”, he said in a speech posted on the Russian foreign ministry website Tuesday.
The diplomat said the Russian government had allocated $10 million to the UNHCR to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
“The Ministry of Emergency Situations has delivered many times hundreds of tonnes of urgent relief supplies to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. We confirm our readiness to continue to give this assistance,” he stated.
Convening an international conference on Syria in Geneva in mid-November would be a step forward in easing the plight of those who were suffering, he said.