Russia, China veto UN Security Council resolution on Syria

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin. (Reuters / Keith Bedford)

The United Nations Security Council has just voted on a draft resolution concerning the ongoing violence in Syria.

Of the voting members, Russia and China were the only ones to vote against the draft, but as permanent members of the UNSC they both hold veto power, and the resolution has not been passed as a result.

The news follows days of heated political debates in the UNSC, with many members supporting a Western-backed draft calling for foreign nations to put an end to what some called the “Syrian killing machine.”

Russia and China were the only permanent Security Council members opposing the draft, reminding others that it was not their place to intervene in another country's domestic affairs.

"The co-sponsors of the resolution have not, in the wording of the draft,  taken into account that the Syrian opposition must distance itself from extremist groups committing acts of violence or called on states with the ablility to use their influence to prevent such acts," Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin.

"The Russian delegation was forced to vote against this draft resolution. We seriously regret this outcome of our joint work," he added.

Vitaly Churkin said earlier that any proposals including an arms embargo or the demand for Assad’s resignation would be vetoed. Though the draft in question did not contain either point, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the resolution still had major problems.

Lavrov told an audience at the Munich Security Conference that there are too few demands being placed on Syria's armed opposition; also, the resolution could cause affect the outcome of political dialogue between the conflicting sides.
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