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Russia, China veto UN Security Council resolution on sanctions against Syria

February 28, 2017, 19:54 updated at: February 28, 2017, 21:39 UTC+3

Russia had no other choice but to veto the document, according to a Russian diplomat

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© AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith

UNITED NATIONS, February 28. /TASS/. Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution imposing sanctions on Syria over chemical attacks allegedly carried out by Damascus.

The document initiated by the Western countries scored nine votes, or a minimum number necessary to adopt a document. So, Russia and China had to use their right to veto.

Along with Russia and China, Bolivia voted against the draft resolution while Egypt, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.

"The draft resolution is not adopted because of the negative vote of a permanent member," Ukraine’s Permanent Representative Vladimir Yelchenko, who hold presidency in the Security Council in February," said after the voting.

The draft envisaged a ban on supplies of all types of helicopters to the Syrian government, army and government structures. As a ground for such sanctions the document cited conclusions of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism which put the blame for three chemical attacks, when containers with presumably chlorine were dropped from military helicopters, on Damascus. Russia and China said these conclusions were not convincing.

The draft also envisaged sanctions against a number of Syrian officials and government structures allegedly involved in the chemical attacks and production of poisonous agents.

Before the voting, British and French ambassadors, Matthew Rycroft and Francois Delattre, called on the Security Council members to vote in favor of the draft and expressed regret after it was not adopted. Rycroft poured criticism of Moscow accusing it of alleged actions to cover the Syrian government’s crimes.

No choice

The co-authors of the draft resolution on sanctions against Syria have deliberately embarked on a course of confrontation, and Russia had no other choice but to veto the document, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Represented to the UN Vladimir Safronkov has said after the voting at the UN Security Council.

"Despite our consistent appeals, the authors preferred a politically motivated path, leading to confrontation and adding complexity to the situation, including on our Security Council platform," the diplomat said.

"They headed for deliberately heating up tensions, being well aware from the very start that this initiative has no chances of being approved at the Security Council," he went on.

He said in this situation Russia "had no other choice but to block the passing of this resolution, the sanction list of which is copied from the analogous American list, approved at the start of this year by the previous US administration," Safronkov said.

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