In line with previous statements by high-ranking Russian officials, Russia cast its seventh veto to protect its Syrian ally from UN Security Council resolution that would impose sanctions in the midst of accusations of chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian conflict.
The draft of the resolution was circulated in the Security Council by US, UK and France, but Russia had said the vote on the resolution would harm UN-peace talks between the Syrian regime and its opponents, held in Geneva.
Nine security council member voted in favor of the resolution, Bolivia voted against, and Egypt, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained. China joined Russia and vetoed the resolution. It was the sixth time China vetoed a resolution on Syria, in support of Moscow.
For the resolution to be adopted it needed nine votes in favor and no vetoes from permanent UNSC members, United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France.
Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the resolution proposal ‘totally inappropriate’.
“I think it is totally inappropriate,” Putin told a news conference in Bishkek, “It would undermine trust in the negotiating process. Russia will not support any new sanctions against the Syrian leadership.”
US Ambassador the UN, Nikki Haley said: “For my friends in Russia, this resolution is very appropriate. It is a sad day on the Security Council when members start making excuses for other member states killing their own people. The world is definitely a more dangerous place.”
The resolution marked a new round of confrontation between Western powers and Russia, as both sides have radically different approach to the conflict in Syria. The resolution was put forward by the West in response to the results of international investigation by the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that found the Syrian government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks and that Islamic State militants had used mustard gas.
However, the Syrian regime has denied its involvement in chemical weapons attacks, while Russia has questioned the results of the U.N./OPCW inquiry and claimed there was not enough proof for the UNSC to take action against Syria.
If adopted, the resolution would have banned the sale of supply of helicopters to the regime in Damascus and also proposed travel ban and asset freeze on 11 Syrian military commanders and officials.