The political department of the UN Secretariat issued a “secret directive” that prohibits all bodies of the organization from participating in the restoration of the Syrian economy, Interfax reports citing Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov.
“Only humanitarian aid, nothing else,” the Minister added. He said that this was an attempt by a group of countries to manipulate the UN Secretariat “for their own geopolitical benefit.” According to Lavrov, the directive stipulates that the restoration of Syria can begin only after political settlement is achieved.
Lavrov also stated that he spoke with the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres about the matter and asked why the Security Council was not informed about such directives.
The issue of Syria’s restoration was raised at the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump that took place on July 16 in Helsinki. Later, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Moscow sent Washington proposals on how to organize the work of returning refugees to the Middle East.
Earlier, Reuters reported that Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov sent a letter to the US Command asking for support in rehabilitating Syria since the Syrian regime lacks the equipment, fuel, other materials and funds needed to rebuild the country. According to the report, the Russian plan was received ‘coldly’ by Washington.
It is noted that the US offered support in the event of a political solution to the conflict in Syria is found and the elections under the auspices of the United Nations are organized. The US accuses Assad of destroying Syria.
Moscow has stepped up its diplomatic activity after Assad's forces backed by Russian warplanes regained control over most of south-western Syria, the region that was one of the last insurgent areas.
Russia launched a large-scale campaign to attract Western countries to humanitarian activities in the Syrian-controlled territories of Syria, seeking to convince the world of the need to establish normal post-war relations with President Assad.