Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have imposed sanctions on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Drafted by Britain, France and the United States, the measure won nine votes in favor, while three countries – China, Russia and Bolivia – opposed it. Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Egypt abstained.
It was Russia’s seventh veto in five years to save its Syrian ally. China, also one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, has joined Russia in vetoing six resolutions on Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned that imposing sanctions on Syria during the ongoing Geneva conference was “completely inappropriate” and would undermine the effort to end Syria’s nearly six-year war.
The proposal marked the first major Security Council action by the new US administration under President Donald Trump, which is seeking warmer ties with Russia.