UNITED NATIONS – Russia has now blocked seven UN resolutions regarding Syria since unrest erupted there in 2011, almost always with support from China.
Moscow is an unconditional supporter of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus, and its latest veto adds to the six previous ones listed below.
Six months after the Syrian conflict begins, Russia and China on October 4, 2011 block a proposed UN resolution to impose “targeted measures” against Assad’s regime.
Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are permanent Security Council members with veto powers, while the other 10 members are selected on a rotating basis.
Moscow, which terms the European-sponsored proposal “unacceptable,” pushes its own version that emphasizes a need for dialogue and seeks to bring pressure on opposition groups as well as the Syrian government.
‘Responsibility for the horrors’
Russia and China again veto a resolution on February 4, 2012 that condemns a Syrian government crackdown on the opposition, while the Security Council’s other members vote in favor.
The veto sparks an international outcry, especially because it comes a few hours after Syrian forces bomb the protest city of Homs, killing hundreds of people.
Then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton says that by blocking the resolution, Beijing and Moscow must “bear responsibility for the horrors that are occurring on the ground in Syria.”
Blocking foreign intervention
On July 19, 2012, Beijing and Moscow again veto a western-backed resolution that threatens Damascus with sanctions if it does not halt its use of heavy weapons.
The resolution seeks to “open the path to the pressure of sanctions and further to external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs,” Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said afterward.
US Ambassador Susan Rice charges, meanwhile, that “the Security Council has failed utterly.”
Russian charges of hypocrisy
A French-drafted proposal for the Security Council to refer Syrian crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is blocked on May 22, 2014, again by Beijing and Moscow.
Sixty government bodies from around the world voice support for the move, but Churkin accuses France, Britain and the US of hypocrisy in not wanting war crimes in Iraq referred to the ICC.
Russia goes it alone, presents rival draft
On October 8, 2016, it is Russia alone that vetoes a text proposed by France to halt to bombing of Aleppo, after presenting a rival draft that urges a ceasefire but makes no mention of halting the bombing campaign.
A resolution on December 5, 2016 that calls for a truce in Aleppo is vetoed by both China and Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticizes the proposal as a “provocative step.”