Some 80 aid and humanitarian organizations, including Human Rights Watch, claim Russia – the only country operating militarily in Syria legally – is no longer “fit” to hold its position in the body.
The move, prompted by Russia’s anti-terror actions in Syria – actions that have attracted the ire of some Western countries – appear to be yet another effort on the part of particular countries to denigrate Russia.
Russia’s presidential spokesman says the condemnation should be directed at extremists in Syria instead.
Meanwhile, German foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is calling for another humanitarian pause in Aleppo like the one that took place last week.
RT sat down with German politician Willy Wimmer for his views on the issue.
RT: Do you think another humanitarian pause will produce any progress, given that there’s no pressure on the Western-backed rebels to stop their shelling of civilian areas?
Willy Wimmer: I think it is vital and necessary to look for relief for the humanitarian problems we have in Syria. And I think we should stop the killing as soon as possible. That is one thing we have to take into consideration. On the other side, we should never forget who started the civil war in Syria and when these human rights organizations blame one country in particular, we should never forget that the US, Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar created a civil war in Syria. I won’t mention Israel because of the situation in the neighborhood.
When we complain about the human suffering in Syria, we have to take into consideration who started everything. And the interesting thing is that everything the West is doing in Syria is against international law; they have no support of the UN Charter, even what the German militaries are doing there is against our Constitution. The only power which is in accordance with international law in Syria is the Russian Federation and because the actual president who had been elected freely, as for the support, it is in accordance with the international law. We have to take this into consideration when it comes to accusations from Human Rights Watch and others.
RT: There are calls to exclude Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. This would undermine one of the founding principles of the United Nations, wouldn’t it? What do you make of such rhetoric?
WW: It is a signal that the UN is on one side. It is not free in its opinion and we see it already for decades that the UN is playing a part in the game on the side of the US. And therefore, we don’t take it serious what the UN representatives tell us.
RT: Last year, Saudi Arabia was elected chair of a key panel on the Human Rights Council. Yet its human rights record has been repeatedly criticized. There have been calls for Saudi Arabia to be suspended from UN Human Rights Council, but do you think this will ever happen?
WW: Never, because of the close relationship between Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US. And therefore, I think they can do what they do without being punished for that (…) I think we have to realize who organized the civil war in Syria, and who is in accordance with international law. When they had a truce between the United States and the Russian Federation three weeks ago, what happened? The Americans killed 100 Syrian soldiers and Russian soldiers as well. There is a development in Washington to make use of the situation where there is no newly elected American president, and this is a complex and extremely dangerous situation for the rest of the world.