Russia and China have prevented the UN Security Council from imposing sanctions on the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons.
On Tuesday they vetoed a UNSC resolution that had been drafted by Britain, France and the United States.
The measure won nine votes in favor, while China, Russia and Bolivia opposed it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the draft resolution as “totally inappropriate” and that it would have undermined efforts to end nearly six-years of conflict in Syria.
Putin’s view was echoed by the Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov who described the draft resolution as a “provocation” by the Western “troika”.
Press TV reports:
UN resolutions need nine positive votes and no vetoes to pass.
This is the seventh time that Russia blocks an anti-Syria resolution and the sixth time that China does so.
The defeated resolution would have blacklisted 11 Syrians, mainly military commanders, and 10 entities allegedly linked to chemical attacks in 2014 and 2015. It would also have banned the supply of helicopters to Damascus.
The vetoed resolution followed a UN-led probe that claimed the Syrian government was behind at least three attacks involving chlorine gas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier denounced the resolution as “inappropriate” and warned that Moscow would not support fresh restrictive measures against Damascus.
After the measure was defeated, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, “This resolution is very appropriate.”
The development comes as the Syrian government has repeatedly denied using banned weapons and accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey of providing militants with toxic materials.