In a UN Security Council vote to launch an investigation into the chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of people in Syria, Russia voted to veto the resolution.
Russia, a permanent member of the council, has the ability to veto resolutions presented before its members. This is the eighth time the country has vetoed a resolution involving accountability toward the Syrian government.
Bolivia also voted no, but does not have veto power like Russia. Three countries abstained from the vote, including China – a move that brought praise from President Trump.
Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, spoke declaratively after results were tallied.
“With its veto,” she told the council, “Russia said no to accountability, Russia said no to cooperating with the UN investigation, Russia said no to helping keep peace in Syria, Russia chose to side with Assad, even as the rest of the world, even the Arab world, comes together to condemn the murderous regime.”
Moscow has strongly condemned the US airstrike in Syria that attacked the airbase where it is thought planes launched from to carry out the chemical attack.
After this failed vote, the rift between the United States and Russia widened, heightening tensions between its governments.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Russian President Vladimir Putin just hours before the UN Security Council voted.
Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Huma Rights Watch, boldly condemned the vote and Putin, saying, “Russia’s veto eposes the hollowness of Putin’s call yesterday for UN investigations.”
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