Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution on Wednesday afternoon condemning the Assad regime's chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians last week.
Although most members of the council voted in favor of the resolution, which demanded that investigators be provided speedy access to relevant information on the attack, Russia voted against it. Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and therefore can block any resolutions with a veto.
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Ten countries voted in favor of the resolution, two voted against it, and three countries abstained.
China, a permanent member of the council, abstained from voting. The other three permanent members–the United Kingdom, the United States, and France–introduced the resolution and voted in favor of it.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley castigated Russia and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the resolution failed.
"Russia once again has chosen to side with Assad, even as the rest of the world, including the Arab world, overwhelmingly comes together to condemn this murderous regime," Haley said.
"To Assad and the Syrian government: you have no friends in the world after your horrible actions. The United States is watching your actions very closely," Haley continued. "The days of your arrogance and disregard of humanity are over. Your excuses will no longer be heard. I suggest you look at this vote very carefully and heed this warning."
The representative from the United Kingdom, Matthew Rycroft, said it was the eighth time Russia has voted to block a resolution condemning Syria. After the vote, Rycroft went after the Assad regime and Russia.
"This one [the Russian veto] is even more regrettable given that Russia was the architect of the 2013 agreement to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons program, an initiative that has demonstrably failed," Rycroft said. "Russia cannot now possibly claim that it opposes the use of chemical weapons. Russia has seen the same pictures that we all saw just days ago in this chamber. How can anyone look at the faces of lifeless children and choose to veto a resolution condemning those deaths?"
"Russia cannot now possibly claim that it opposes the use of chemical weapons. Russia has seen the same pictures that we all saw just days ago in this chamber," Rycroft continued. "How can anyone look at the faces of lifeless children and choose to veto a resolution condemning those deaths?"