Russia Vetoes U.N. Bid to Set Up Syria Chemical Weapons Probe

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Russia on Tuesday vetoed a U.S.-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have set up an investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria following an alleged toxic gas attack in rebel-held Douma.

It was the 12th time that Russia has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its Syrian ally.

A rival measure put forward by Russia failed to garner enough votes for adoption.

The showdown between the United States and Russia at the United Nations came as the threat of Western military action in Syria loomed large.

President Donald Trump has warned that there will be a "big price to pay" for the alleged use of toxic gas in Douma that killed at least 40 people, according to Syrian medics and rescuers.

Ahead of the vote, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said "this resolution is the bare minimum that the council can do to respond to the attack" on Saturday.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of "planting this resolution" as a "pretext" to justify action against Syria.

"We are using the veto in order to protect international rule of law, peace and security, to make sure that you do not drag the Security Council into your adventures," Nebenzia said.

Twelve of the 15 council members backed the U.S.-drafted measure, including France, Britain, African countries, Kazakhstan and Kuwait. Bolivia voted against the draft resolution, while China abstained.

The United States, France and Britain were among the seven countries that voted against the Russian proposal which they argued would not create an independent panel to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use.

China backed Russia's measure along with four other countries, while two others abstained.

A draft resolution requires nine votes to be adopted in the 15-member council and no veto from the five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Russia has presented a third draft resolution for a vote that would support an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, but would not create a mechanism to identify the perpetrators.

Diplomats said that measure was not expected to be adopted either.

Comments 4
Thumb s.o.s 10 April 2018, 23:40

They protect bashar just like they protect Israel. Totally disgusting.

Thumb whyaskwhy 11 April 2018, 01:40

And yet you have some people in Lebanon who would argue that Bashar has never used chemical weapons lol then why is Russia refusing to allow the investigation? same reason Kizballah refused to allow their people stand trial for the implications into PM Hariris murder.

Thumb chrisrushlau 11 April 2018, 19:18

If the proposal for the established agency, OPCW, to investigate will not pass, that means the US, France, and England want an investigation that will produce a justification for attacks: one that goes into the process with its conclusions already established. As Waleed121 says, this is obviously an last-gasp effort by KSA, UAE, etc., to bolster their ISIS: they have the only motive for a gas attack. It is ridiculous. MBS, I think, is making the hardliners desperate.

Thumb whyaskwhy 11 April 2018, 21:26

Talking about delusion Waleed, why be so concerned with an investigation if Bashar says he did not use Chemical weapons again for the 25th time?