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USA. State Department: Russia is interfering with the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria after the earthquake

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Russia is standing in the way of the effective delivery of humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Syria, said US State Department spokesman Ned Price. In this way, he referred to Russia’s disagreement to open more than one border crossing with Turkey.

“We will do everything we can to ensure more access points are built,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday during a news conference.

– But unfortunately, the reality is that mainly one country stands in the way: Russia has consistently threatened to use its veto when it comes to allowing additional border crossings, he added.

There is only one official border crossing between Turkey and SyriaREFIK TEKIN/PAP/EPA

Concerns about closing the only border crossing

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As Price stated, that between Turkey and Syria, there is only one official border crossing, at Bab al-Hawa, which greatly complicates the logistics of delivering aid to earthquake victims. The crossing was damaged during the cataclysm and only on Thursday the first convoy UN managed to drive through it.

Russia, an ally of the Syrian regime, closed all but one border crossing in 2020, and every six months there are fears that Bab al-Hawa will also be closed.

Border crossing at Bab al-Hawa

The sanctions are “not an obstacle” to humanitarian aid

Price said Thursday the US Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken spoke with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu about providing aid to both Turkish and Syrian earthquake victims. Turkey unilaterally – and so far symbolically – opened other border crossings with Syria to influence Damascus.

Strong earthquake in Turkey and SyriaPAP

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department also said that U.S. sanctions against Bashar al-Assad’s regime “in no way constitute an obstacle” to humanitarian aid in Syria, adding that United States billions of dollars have been donated through various organizations.

Main photo source: REFIK TEKIN/PAP/EPA

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