Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have launched an investigation to ascertain responsibility for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, that occurred last Saturday. Twelve council members voted in favor, while Bolivia joined Russia in voting against, and China abstained. Prior to the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley, urged council members to pass the vote, which she asserted was the “bare minimum that the council can do to respond to the attack.” “This resolution is the bare minimum that the Council can do to respond to the attack. The United States did everything possible to work towards Security Council unity on this text,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
Russia rejected the resolution as part of an American attempt to mislead the international community, while accusing Washington of using the Security Council resolution as a prelude, for an armed intervention in Syria. “The United States is once again trying to mislead the international community and is making yet one more step toward confrontation.” / “You have stated that unequivocally, several times, stating that if the Security Council does not come up with a decision, you will make a decision of your own. Why are you determinedly trying to undermine the authority of the Security Council while pushing forth a resolution that we will not pass? And many told you about this yesterday during the consultations. We call upon the American side to very soberly approach the confrontation of potential here, come to their senses and give up putting the draft to the vote. Russia will not be able to support the American draft,” Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia said.
Following the U.S. drafted resolution, Moscow attempted to pass a resolution of its-own, demanding the right to choose the team of investigators and later assess the outcome of the inquiry’s findings; a move U.S. Ambassador Haley stressed ‘was Russia’s way to protect a monster over the lives of the Syrian people.’ “History will record that, on this day, Russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people.” / “Russia’s resolution gives Russia itself the chance to choose the investigators and then to assess the outcome. There is nothing independent about that. The United States is not asking to choose the investigators, and neither should Russia. The United States is not asking to review the findings of any investigation before they are final, and neither should Russia. All of us say we want an independent investigation. Our resolution achieves that goal. Russia’s does not,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
The Russian-drafted resolution was rejected by the council, with seven members voting against and two abstentions. British Ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, emphasized that Russia had no authorization by the Security Council to carry out its investigation in Syria – a fact that deems its findings irrelevant; while demanding an independent investigation that would receive the confidence of the council, the United Nations at large and the Syrian people in particular. “We are asked to believe that the Russian version of this latest attack should be the one that the Security Council believes. Mr. President, Russia is not authorized by the Security Council to carry out an investigation in Syria. Russia says there were no traces of a chemical attack. No traces were found by whom? I repeat, Mr. President, Russia is not authorized to carry out an investigation on behalf of the Security Council. We need an independent investigative mechanism for that purpose and only that sort of mechanism can have the confidence of the Security Council and the confidence of the membership of the U.N. and the confidence of the people of Syria,” U.K. Ambassador to the U.N. Karen Pierce said.