Saturday, November 18, 2017

Russia, China block UN resolution on Syrian sanctions

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Moscow says effort would harm recently renewed peace talks in Geneva

Thomson Reuters
Posted: Feb 28, 2017 12:37 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2017 12:37 PM ET

Russia on Tuesday cast its seventh veto to protect the Syrian government from United Nations Security Council action, blocking a bid by Western powers to impose sanctions over accusations of chemical weapons attacks during the six-year Syrian conflict.

China backed Russia and cast its sixth veto on Syria. Russia had said the vote on the resolution, drafted by France and Britain, would harm UN-led peace talks between the warring Syrian parties in Geneva, which began last week.

The defeated resolution would also have banned all countries from supplying Syria’s government with helicopters, which investigators have determined were used in chemical attacks.

Nine council members voted in favor of the resolution. Bolivia voted against the text, while Ethiopia, Egypt and Kazakhstan abstained. A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted. 

The resolution got the minimum number of votes. 

The resolution followed a joint investigation by the UN and the international chemical weapons watchdog that determined the Syrian government was behind at least three attacks involving chlorine gas and the Islamic State extremist group was responsible for at least one involving mustard gas.

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The resolution was supported by nine countries but drew ‘no’ votes from China, Russia and Bolivia. (Osamu Honda/Associated Press)

With files from The Associated Press

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