MESOP REPORT – PEACE-KEEPING VLADIMIR : Syria: Russia Blocks UN Resolution on Chemical Weapons
February 28 by Scott Lucas – eaworldview – As expected, Russia cast its veto on Tuesday to block a UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions against Syria’s Assad regime over its continued use of chemical weapons. Russia cast its seventh veto during Syria’s six-year conflict, and China joined it for the sixth time. The final vote was 9-3 in favor of the resolution, with three abstentions.
The Assad regime has used chemical weapons since at least early 2013, including the sarin attacks near Damascus in August 2013 that killed more than 1,400 people. A UN investigating team finally found the regime responsible for four chlorine attacks from spring 2014, and it has submitted a secret list of political and military officials whom it considers culpable. But Russian President Vladimir Putin said the draft resolution as “totally inappropriate” and Deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov described criticism of Moscow in the Security Council “outrageous” and declared that “God will judge you”.
“For my friends in Russia, this resolution is very appropriate,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley responded. “It is a sad day on the Security Council when members start making excuses for other member states killing their own people. The world is definitely a more dangerous place.”
British UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said before the vote: “This is about taking a stand when children are poisoned. It’s that simple. It’s about taking a stand when civilians are maimed and murdered with toxic weapons.”
French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the failure by the council to act would “send a message of impunity”. But China’s UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi said it was too early to act because the international investigation was ongoing.
The draft resolution banned the sale or supply of helicopters to the regime, since they drop barrel bombs containing chlorine gas, and imposed targeted sanctions such as a travel ban and asset freeze on 11 Syrian military commanders and officials and on 10 regime and related entities. www.mesop.de