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Tuesday, 18 October 2016 19:54

HNC: EU Credibility at Stake as Russia’s War Crimes Continue Unchallenged

The opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said that in addition to the imposition of sanctions on the Assad regime, the European Union needs to take restrictive measures against Russian individuals and entities involved in war crimes in Syria.

In a statement released on Monday, HNC reiterated calls for the referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The statement warned that the EU’s credibility will be at stake so long as Russia’s crimes in Syria continue unchallenged.

"The situation in Eastern Aleppo is an unconscionable humanitarian disaster that requires urgent action to halt the daily indiscriminate bombardments and lift the siege. That some European Member States continue to protect Russia from credible EU action is unacceptable,” the HNC said.

The statement added: “Easing the pressure on Russia, who has the ability to immediately halt the disaster in Eastern Aleppo, is not a credible approach. The EU must focus its efforts on credible pressure options to reinforce the current diplomatic track, including restrictive measures against Russian individuals and entities that are enabling Assad's indiscriminate bombardment of Aleppo and committing war crimes.”

"Alongside sanctions, the EU must actively seek accountability mechanisms outside of the UN Security Council, where an ICC referral continues to be blocked by Russia.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Anadolu Agency)