Russia has declared that a UNSC draft resolution to end all military fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo has "no chance of working". The draft, presented by France and Spain, followed a decision by the United States to suspend all talks with Russia over Syria, saying Moscow failed to live up to its commitment to a ceasefire agreement.
The resolution threatened further measures if any party fails to comply with the truce. But Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said, at a news conference, that the resolution has "no chance of working".
"I'm not even sure many other council members would like to see a resolution on cessation of hostilities which has no chance of working. If the only effect of that resolution is that the secretary general will start thinking of some monitoring mechanism which is not going to work in the first place, then there is not much sense in having that resolution," Churkin said.
Earlier on Monday, Washington had accused the Syrian regime and Moscow of ratcheting up attacks against civilians. A statement released by US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said, "The United States is suspending its participation in bilateral channels with Russia that were established to sustain the cessation of hostilities. This is not a decision that was taken lightly.
"Rather, Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course, inconsistent with the cessation of hostilities, as demonstrated by their intensified attacks against civilian areas, targeting of critical infrastructure such as hospitals, and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in need."
Reports say UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said that he deeply regrets the US decision but has vowed "to push energetically for a political solution" to put an end to the war.
Russia's foreign ministry also said it regretted the US decision to call off the talks, and added that Washington is trying to shift the blame of the failure of diplomacy in Syria on to Moscow.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said: "Washington simply did not fulfil the key condition of the agreement to improve the humanitarian condition around Aleppo. After failing to fulfil the agreements that they themselves worked out, they are trying to shift responsibility on to someone else."
The spokesperson added that "in the last few days" Moscow had put in efforts to fulfil the ceasefire deal. "It all essentially came down to a simple question — who are Jabhat al-Nusra, who is behind them, and why can't Washington fulfil its promise to divide the terrorists from the so-called moderate opposition," she added.
On the ground in eastern Aleppo, at least seven people were killed when the largest hospital in the rebel-held area known as M10 came under aerial bombardment for the third time on Monday.
The medical facility is "completely destroyed ... It is gone", Adham Sahloul of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said.