Is Russia moving towards a compromise on humanitarian aid to Syria?

The Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey to Syria. Photo: Patrick Neil via Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Security Council is set to make a decision on the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria by 10 July. The decision comes almost one year on from the compromised extension to Resolution 2533, which approved the delivery of aid into Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing for a further year.

Russia is again at the centre of contention and the primary focus of the discord is again the delivery of aid through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing into the rebel-controlled Idlib province. Many stakeholders are worried that Moscow might insist on closing the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the quasi-legalistic grounds of upholding Syria’s sovereignty and thus block a new extension of Resolution 2533.

In this latest blog for the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Middle East Centre, Research Professor Pavel Baev argues there may be good reason to now believe Russia is maneuvering towards a compromise supporting the extension of Resolution 2533.

Baev argues the context of the issue has changed for Moscow since 2020, and points to a difference in the situation in Syria, the sharp escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in April-May, and the stabilisation of the situation around the rebel-controlled Idlib province as having changed the context of the Syrian issue from Moscow’s point of view.

Read Pavel Baev’s full blog post here.