‘Twisting facts’: Moscow slams Mogherini for saying EU alone in providing aid to Syria
Moscow has blasted as “outrageous twisting of the facts” a statement by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who said the EU was the only party providing aid to Syria.
“It's outrageous twisting of facts which ignores what Russia has been doing for a long time,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also officially responded to Mogherini’s statement “with surprise,” and said that Russia, “unlike other international players, is actively supplying thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to various regions in Syria, including the liberated areas in eastern Aleppo, at the risk of Russian military lives.”
“If the high representative [Mogherini] means providing assistance to terrorists and extremists, then we don’t participate in this, indeed,” the statement added.
The Russian official's statement comes after the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said in Berlin on Wednesday, that the EU “are the ones – the ones, not among the ones – that are providing humanitarian aid, in Syria and around. I don't see many others doing as much as we are.”
RT’s Peter Oliver asked Mogherini to expand on her comments at the OSCE summit in Hamburg, but received no answer.
Mogherini's words aren't the first aimed against the Russian humanitarian effort in Syria: last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May's office said that “the Syrian regime and their influencers [be it Russia, or others] are preventing aid” from reaching Aleppo.
In response, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov said that “the UK government has lost an objective view of what is happening in Syria, including Aleppo, due to Russophobia,” adding that the UK has not sent “a single gram of flour, any medicine or blankets to help” civilians in Aleppo during the whole Syrian conflict.
“If the UK government really wants to send humanitarian aid to residents in the eastern neighborhoods [of Aleppo], it has all conditions for doing this, just tell us where it [the aid] has been held up."
Also last week, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that the UN halted its aid deliveries to Aleppo, after over 40 percent of the territory previously controlled by militants was recaptured by Syrian government forces.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov also slammed the UN aid effort in Syria.
“While the UN humanitarian plan is something that exists on paper, experts on international relations and humanitarian specialists in Geneva inexplicably missed dozens of opportunities to join the humanitarian work to ease the plight of Aleppo, its outskirts, and other regions in Syria," he said, as cited by TASS.
At the end of November, Konashenkov said that “only through the Russian Syrian Reconciliation Center was thousands of tons of humanitarian aid delivered to Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Latakia, Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor, and other cities.”