Washington, Oct 5: Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that threatened sanctions against Syria if the nation’s bloody crackdown on protesters continues.
The resolution had nine votes in favor, but four countries abstained – India, Brazil, South Africa and Lebanon.
The 15-member council has been deadlocked over the possibility of sanctioning the Assad regime for months over its response to demonstrations.
It was the first double veto by Russia and China since January 2007 when they vetoed a resolution calling on Myanmar to release all political prisoners, initiate a wide-ranging dialogue and end military attacks and human rights abuses.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council after the vote that his country did not support the Assad regime or the violence but opposed the resolution because it was “based on a philosophy of confrontation,” contained “an ultimatum of sanctions” and was against a peaceful settlement of a crisis.
He also complained that the resolution did not call for the Syrian opposition to disassociate itself from “extremists” and enter into dialogue, Fox News reports.
China’s Ambassador Li Bandong opposed the resolution saying “sanctions, or threat of sanctions, do not help the situation in Syria but rather complicates the situation.”
Supporters of the resolution expressed disappointment and outrage over China and Russia’s decision.
US Ambassador Susan Rice accused Russia and China of wanting to sell arms to the Syrian regime rather than stand with the Syrian people, an accusation vehemently denied by Russia’s Churkin. (ANI)