Russia and China again vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would threaten Syrian officials with sanctions. The veto was condemned by Western countries.
This comes just a day after a bomb blast killed the Syrian defense minister and the deputy defense minister, who was also President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law, in an attack showing that the regime has a visible weakness.
There were reports Thursday that Damascus was again rocked by fighting between government forces and rebel fighters.
Russia and China, who have permanent member statuses on the Security Council, have vetoed resolutions on Syria twice in the past.
The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, said the most recent veto “is even more dangerous and deplorable,” according to an explanation of the vote.
“It would not even impose sanctions at this stage. And despite paranoid, if not disingenuous, claims by some to the contrary, it would in no way authorize nor even pave the way for foreign military intervention,” Rice added.
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague contended that Russia and China “turned their back on the people of Syria in their darkest hour,” as the country descends into a civil war.
Russia said that it could not accept potential sanctions on Syrian officials.
“The draft resolution which was voted on was biased. The threat of sanctions was leveled exclusively at the government of Syria, and does not reflect the realities in the country today,” Russia’s representative to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin was quoted by state-backed RT as saying.
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