Russia, China veto United Nations resolution on Syria sanctions

Russian Federation has now used its veto power seven times on draft resolutions on Syria since the start of the crisis.

Russian Federation had said the vote on the resolution, drafted by France, Britain and the United States, would harm UN-led peace talks between the warring Syrian parties in Geneva, which began last week.

"In terms of sanctions against the Syrian leadership, I think that now they are completely inappropriate".

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, said it was a "sad day in the Security Council" and criticized the vetoes as "abominable and indefensible choices".

She said the United States has already designated every person and every entity listed in the draft resolution for sanctions and vowed to work with the European Union and other partners to push for similar sanctions as soon as possible. The investigation also concluded that the Islamic State had used mustard gas on at least one occasion.

Before the vote, Britain's ambassador to the U.N., Matthew Rycroft, graphically described the death of a 6-year-old Syrian boy in a chemical weapons attack. "It's that simple. It's about taking a stand when civilians are maimed and murdered with toxic weapons".

Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the council that no one should hesitate to impose consequences for chemical weapon attacks.

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The Assad regime has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons in the war that has killed over 310,000 people since March 2011.

Support for the resolution will send a "strong, clear message. that the global community means business on preventing the use of these abhorrent weapons", Rycroft said. It came after an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The Security Council is due to vote Tuesday on the proposal drawn up by France, the United Kingdom and the United States which would also ban the supply of helicopters, which investigators say have been used in the attacks, to the Syrian government.

The vote comes as UN-brokered talks in Geneva to end the war in Syria were struggling to get off the ground while government air strikes continued, despite a ceasefire. In addition to China and Russia, Bolivia voted "no".

Three other countries - Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Egypt - abstained.

The resolution, which was proposed by Great Britain and France but endorsed by the USA last week, banned the sale of helicopters to Syria, and would have imposed sanctions against 11 Syrian commanders or officials and 10 groups linked to the alleged chemical attacks.

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