Health Care

Russian Federation vetoes UNSC resolution on Syria chemical weapons probe

Russian Federation vetoes UNSC resolution on Syria chemical weapons probe”

Russian Federation vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution Tuesday that would have established a new expert body to determine culpability for the suspected chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta on April 8. This occurred even as an investigative team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was on its way to Douma, Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government and with Russia's support. The U.S., Britain and France opposed the measure, saying that the investigators are already headed there and that the text didn't include a new way to assess blame for chemical attacks.

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

The votes on Tuesday came amid an escalating war of words between Washington and Moscow and a looming threat of Western military action following a suspected gas attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday.

Sweden's ambassador, Olof Skoog, who tried unsuccessfully to find a compromise solution, told the council after the third vote that he was disappointed.

"We are at a very fragile phase of council deliberations now and we need to reflect carefully on the way forward to ensure that we don't jump into further paralysis (that is) hard to defend or fix", said Skoog.

China supported both the Russian resolutions.

He accused the U.S. of introducing the resolution knowing it would not pass so they could use it as a pretext to attack Syria.

In Tuesday's first vote, Russian Federation vetoed a USA -drafted resolution that would have condemned the suspected Douma attack in the strongest terms and established a new independent and impartial investigative body to determine responsibility for Syrian chemical attacks.

Five countries - Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Russia - voted in favor, failing to pass the threshold of nine.

"History will record that, on this day, Russian Federation chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people", Haley said, referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad. "But I'm not sure if we have exhausted all venues to get there". "Does any of that sound independent or impartial?" The US says 89 people were killed and several hundred injured by chemical weapons used there. The latter attack led to a USA airstrike on a Syrian airfield. Russian Federation requested the draft to be voted on alongside two competing draft resolutions on a broader investigative mechanism for chemical weapons use in Syria.

Nebenzia told the council Tuesday the US resolution was trying to recreate the JIM, which he said "became a puppet in the hands of anti-Damascus forces".

This resolution received six votes in the UNSC, including Russian Federation and China, with two abstentions. British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce said "Russia's credibility as a member of the council is now in question".



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