New York (Reuters): Russia on Tuesday cast its seventh veto to protect the Syrian government from United Nations Security Council action, blocking a bid by Western powers to impose sanctions over accusations of chemical weapons attacks during the six-year Syrian conflict.
China backed Russia and cast its sixth veto on Syria. Russia had said the vote on the resolution, drafted by France, Britain and the United States, would harm U.N.-led peace talks between the warring Syrian parties in Geneva, which began last week.
Nine council members voted in favor, Bolivia voted against, while Egypt, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the draft resolution on Tuesday as "totally inappropriate." "For my friends in Russia, this resolution is very appropriate," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council after the vote.
"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," she said. The vote was one of the first confrontations at the United Nations between Russia and the United States since US President Donald Trump took office in January, pledging to build closer ties with Moscow.