Russia on Thursday said it was ready to support a 48-hour ceasefire in Aleppo and will allow humanitarian aid to be delivered in besieged areas, as long as all parties involved respected the agreement.
"Russia's defence ministry is ready to support the proposal by UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura regarding the introduction of weekly 48-hour 'humanitarian pauses' (in Aleppo)," spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said.
The news comes after footage emerged of a five-year-old boy Omran Daqneesh being rescued from rubble in rebel held al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo on Thursday.
The Russian defense ministry added, "Specific dates and times will be determined after information regarding the readiness of humanitarian convoys is received from the UN, as well as confirmation of safety guarantees from American partners."
After Russia's announcement, De Mistura said that the UN's humanitarian team "is now set to mobilize itself to respond to this challenge".
"Our plan is to collectively work out the operational details, and be ready for delivery as soon as possible," De Mistura's office said in a statement.
Western bureaucrats were weary of the announcement and questioned the Moscow's motives while insisting that the United Nations must be in charge of a sustained aid operation. One western diplomat told Reuters, "The challenge will be in operational arrangements and making sure there is a real pause in fighting and that it (Russia) is not using this for its own strategic advantage and gathering forces for another offensive."
Last week, Moscow had declared that it would cease fire for only three hours, but the UN immediately responded saying that it was not enough to reach to the 1.5 million people trapped in Aleppo.