Haley Blasts Russia for Blocking U.S.-Backed Resolution on Syria Chemical Attack: 'It's a Travesty'

April 10, 2018

Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed Russia Tuesday for blocking a U.S.-backed draft resolution to create an independent investigation into the recent reported chemical weapons attack in Syria, calling it a "travesty" and saying Russia elected to protect a "monster" in Bashar al-Assad.

"These deadly weapons have been used on Syrian families again, and when the people of Douma along with the rest of the international community looked to this council to act, one country stood in the way," Haley said at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. "History will record that on this day, Russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people."

Recalling her words a day earlier where she said the world "must see justice done" following Saturday's chemical attack on Douma, Haley said the countries that supported the U.S. resolution couldn't let another such attack occur without a response.

"Most countries saw the horror that took place in Douma last weekend at the hands of the Assad regime and realized that today was a time for action," she said.

"Unfortunately, Russia has chosen the Assad regime again over the unity of this council," she went on. "We have said it before, that Russia will stop at nothing to shield the Assad regime, and here is our answer. Russia has trashed the credibility of the council. They are not interested in unity or compromise."

It's a "travesty," she added, that Russia had on six occasions vetoed resolutions holding Assad to account for chemical weapons use.

Haley said Russia's proposed resolution for an independent investigation was similar to that backed by the U.S. but had two key differences which spoke volumes: Russia giving itself the ability to approve the investigators chosen for the job, and Russia wanting the Security Council to "assess the findings" of any investigation before a report was released.

"Does any of that sound independent or impartial?" Haley asked.

Before the resolution vote, Haley called it a "decisive moment" for the Security Council and outlined the key differences between the U.S. and Russia resolutions.

"For weeks, we have been working with every single delegation on this council to develop a new attribution mechanism for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. We held open and transparent negotiations so every delegation could provide their input, and we went the extra mile for one council member," she said. "We adopted paragraph after paragraph of Russia's proposed resolution. We tried to take every Russian proposal that did not compromise the impartiality, independence or professionalism of a new attribution mechanism."