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Russian Federation and China veto Syria sanctions

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Russian Federation and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution imposing sanctions on Syria over chemical attacks allegedly carried out by Damascus.

Earlier in the day, Russian Federation and China vetoed the draft resolution at the Security Council vote.

China, also one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, has joined Russian Federation in vetoing six resolutions on Syria.

If adopted, the draft resolution would have imposed asset freeze and travel bans on individuals and entities associated with the Syrian government based on allegations of chemical weapon attacks made by a joint probe of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The resolution would have also banned all countries from supplying the Syrian government with helicopters, which were used in the attacks. Since then, the mechanism has identified the Syrian government as well as the armed group calling itself the Islamic State, as having carried out chemical attacks.

Three other countries - Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Egypt - abstained.

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, said it was a "sad day in the Security Council" and criticized the vetoes as "abominable and indefensible choices".

"Russia just doesn't want to criticize the Assad regime for using chemical weapons". A negative vote - or veto - from one of the Council's five permanent members means a resolution can not be adopted.

It also proposed targeted sanctions of a travel ban and asset freeze on 11 Syrian military commanders and officials, as well as 10 government and related entities. "The world is definitely a more unsafe place". "[Regarding] the outrageous statements made against Russia, China and other states, God shall judge you, and these statements will remain on your conscience".

Russia's envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, defended the veto, calling the resolution "politically biased" and asserting that Russia's concerns about the draft language had not been addressed.

The two permanent members have shielded Bashar al-Assad's regime from worldwide sanctions over the course of the six-year war.

Support for the resolution will send a "strong, clear message. that the global community means business on preventing the use of these abhorrent weapons", Rycroft said.

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