Russia and China blocked efforts of other major powers to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria Tuesday, with a dramatic dual veto thwarting a call for an immediate halt to the crackdown in Syria against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.
Nine of the 15-member council countries, including the United States, voted in favor of adopting the resolution.
Security Council member countries India, Brazil, South Africa, Lebanon abstained from voting on the resolution.
“After seven months of near complete inaction in the Council, while at least 2,600 people were being killed, and thousands injured, arrested or tortured, this vote is a disgrace. By casting their veto, Russia and China are enabling the Syrian government’s abhorrent repression campaign,” said Philippe Bolopion, the United Nations director for Human Rights Watch.
In response, the Obama administration has condemned Russia and China, including criticizing them for being on the “wrong side of history”. From the Associated Press:
For the second day in a row, U.S. officials berated the Chinese and Russians for killing the resolution, saying on Wednesday that the two nations were on the wrong side of history.
The State Department stopped short of accusing China and Russia of having blood on their hands but said countries have to take responsibility for their votes on the council as well as any implications those votes may have on the ground in Syria.
China and Russia on Tuesday vetoed a resolution that would have condemned abuses by the Syrian regime but stopped short of imposing sanctions on the country.