Russia vetoes UN draft resolution on Syria Chemical weapon attack probe
Russia vetoed a UN resolution Wednesday that would have condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in a town in northern Syria and demanded a speedy investigation, triggering clashes between Moscow and the Western backers.
The vote on the Security Council resolution drafted by Britain, France and the United States was 10 in favor, Russia and Bolivia against, and China, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstaining.
It was the eighth veto by Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, on a Western-backed Syria resolution and reflected the deep division that has left the UN’s most powerful body struggling to tackle the use of banned chemical weapons and to help end the six-year Syrian conflict. China has vetoed six resolutions.
Russia has criticized previous investigations carried out by the OPCW and the United Nations which blamed the Syrian government for at least three chemical weapons attacks without visiting the sites. Safronkov reiterated Wednesday that an investigation cannot be conducted remotely and experts must be drawn from a wide geographical basis.
Both the Syrian government and opposition have asked for an independent investigation Safronkov said, “whereas the OPCW is doing nothing, for reasons unknown.”
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