Russian Federation vetoes United States resolution on Syria chemical weapons use

Russian Federation vetoes United States resolution on Syria chemical weapons use

Russian Federation vetoes United States resolution on Syria chemical weapons use

The 4 April sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun that killed dozens of people prompted the United States to launch missiles on a Syrian air base.

Turkey, Russia and Iran are sponsoring peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana and also implementing a plan for de-escalation zones in key flashpoint areas of Syria.

Thursday's resolution received 11 votes in favor and two against, with two abstentions. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

Addressing the council, US Ambassador Nikki Haley assailed the veto as a "deep blow", saying "Russia has killed the investigative mechanism which has overwhelming support of this council".

The Russian mission to the United Nations was not immediately available for comment on the impending council vote.

Russia's move drew harsh criticism from US Ambassador Nikki Haley, who said Russian Federation had struck a "deep blow" to United Nations efforts to identify those using chemical weapons and deter future attacks.

"Russia is doing everything possible to prevent that from happening", he said. The two documents had different timeframe - the Russian draft extended the mandate until May 16, 2018, while the United States version gave the mission 24 months since the adoption of the resolution.

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The United States and Russia, Syria's ally, have put forward rival draft resolutions on renewing the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), tasked with investigating Syria's toxic gas attacks. The vote was expected to take place later on Thursday. Two days prior to that, Russian Federation vetoed a non-agreed draft resolution extending the JIM's mandate and later made public its opinion of the investigators' report, saying it was "amateurish" and its conclusions were based on "a laymen's methodology".

A competing measure by Russian Federation to renew for a year the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) failed to garner enough support in the council, essentially spelling the end of the body tasked with identifying the perpetrators of chemical attacks.

Nebenzia said Monday, "It is important that the JIM is renewed but on an updated mandate because the systemic errors that we saw with the recent report should be corrected, and that's the aim of our resolution".

"What is at stake is the professional, independent, objective, scientific, nonpartisan, depoliticized JIM which we've now got, which we've had before, and which we need in the future", Rycroft said.

Previous reports by the JIM have found that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015, and that the Islamic State group used mustard gas in 2015.

In September 2013, Syria accepted a Russian proposal to relinquish its chemical weapons stockpile and join the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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