Published: Wed, March 01, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Russia, China Veto Resolution Imposing Sanctions on Syrian Regime, Egypt Abstains

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.

That assessment squared with comments from Russian Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov, who accused the United States and its allies of pursuing confrontation over cooperation with the Assad government.

It was the Kremlin's seventh Security Council veto in defence of President Bashar Assad of Syria over the war that has torn his country apart for almost six years.

China's United Nations ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said: "We oppose the use of chemical weapons" but said it was too soon to impose sanctions as investigations into their use were still ongoing.

"Russia just doesn't want to criticize the Assad regime for using chemical weapons".

It was the seventh time that Russia, Assad regime's top military ally, has used its veto power to shield the regime.

"We've seen yet again Russian Federation is prepared to abuse veto power to stand by regime that has no regard for its own people", he said.

The document initiated by the United Kingdom, the U.S. and France scored nine votes, or a minimum number necessary to adopt a document.

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He said anti-Syrian comments from diplomats of three countries heard after the voting "leave no doubts: the draft was meant as part of the anti-regime doctrine of western capitals".

"For my friends in Russian Federation, this resolution is very appropriate", US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the council after the vote.

The Syrian war has dragged on since early 2011 and led to the deaths of almost half a million people.

The Tuesday resolution called for travel and economic sanctions against several Syrian air force and intelligence officers linked to the attacks by investigators, along with asset freezes of several Syrian companies and government-linked organizations.

Syria's declared stockpile of 1,300 metric tons of chemicals has been destroyed, but the OPCW is still investigating outstanding questions about possible undeclared chemical weapons.

Russia's deputy United Nations ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said such criticism was "outrageous" and "politically biased".

The draft envisaged a ban on supplies of all types of helicopters to the Syrian government, army and government structures.

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