The United Nations Security Council unanimously votes in favor of a resolution demanding a 30-day truce in Syria 'without delay' to allow aid access and medical evacuations.
The resolution was adopted on by 15 votes to none, after several delays and a flurry of last-minute negotiations.
“It would be naïve to think that internal Syrian questions can be solved by a resolution,” said Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia.
He added that Russia had “supported the intentions” behind the document, but stresses that a ceasefire was not possible “without agreement from warring parties.”
He further went on to criticize the “occupational ambitions” of the US-led coalition, and added that foreign-backed militants were responsible for the humanitarian crisis that the resolution was aimed at addressing.
He also accused that the West was conducting a “propaganda campaign” against government forces in Eastern Ghouta, where has been intense over the last week.
Eastern Ghouta near Damascus has witnessed renewed violence in the past few days, where terrorists have mounted repeated mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent rout. Western powers, however, blame the Syrian government and Russia for the crisis.
The Syrian capital has seen a dramatic rise in deadly attacks over the past several days. The escalating violence comes amid international efforts to end clashes between government forces and militants in Eastern Ghouta.
Meanwhile, US envoy to the UN Nikky Haley censured Moscow for “obstructing the voting” on the resolution, which was submitted on Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Sweden and Kuwait, two non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, proposed a month-long ceasefire measure in Syria to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid and medical evacuations.
Russia proposed amendments to the draft resolution to include guarantees that the anti-Damascus militants would honor the ceasefire, warning that the would-be truce should not cover the Takfiri terrorist groups of Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, as well as other militant outfits that are shelling civilians in Syria's militant-held Eastern Ghouta.
"The Syrian people should not have to die waiting for Russia to organize instructions from Moscow or discuss it with the Syrians," she said.
She added that US was “deeply skeptical that the Assad regime will comply” and pointed out that “credibility of the UN Security Council is at stake.”
After the ceasefire was voted for, Syria's Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja'afari stressed that his country does not need showboating sessions or the establishment of UN committees, but it only needs the current resolutions to be abided by.
He added that the people in Damascus are deeply suffering due to the actions of the terrorists positioned in the Eastern Ghouta.
“The appeals of eight million Syrians do not reach the General Secretariat or the mailboxes of Britain's and France’s representatives, but the appeals of terrorists do reach them,” he added.
He went on to note that the Astana agreement had stipulated that armed groups operating in Syria break any ties to Daesh and al-Nusra, and also granted the Syrian government the right to retaliate to any attack.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey have been organizing the Astana talks since January 2017. Together, the three countries have been acting as guarantor states for the peace process.
Russia and Iran are Syrian government allies. Turkey is an ally of the Syrian opposition. The collective efforts of the three countries, including the brokering of agreements that have significantly reduced fighting in Syria, have made an impact on the ground in the Arab country.
"We practice a sovereign right of self-defense and we will continue to fight terrorism wherever it is found on Syrian soil,” he said, stressing that the Syrian government reserves the full right to retaliate against armed terrorist groups if they attack innocent civilians.
Ja'afari also called on the US, UK, and France to stop holding meetings and making strategic plans aimed at dividing the country and trying to forcefully change Syria's government.