Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to stand down.
The United States said the vote has raised the risk of more bloodshed and civil war in Syria.
Russia had said earlier that the Western-Arab backed resolution was an improper attempt at regime change.
The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said:
“The draft resolution, as put to a vote, did not adequately reflect the real state of affairs in Syria, and has sent an unbalanced signal to the Syrian parties. The co-sponsors of the resolution have not taken into account the wording for the draft that we proposed – to the effect that the Syrian opposition must distance itself from extremist groups which are carrying out acts of violence, and we called upon states and all those who have the relevant opportunities to use their influence, to put an end to such acts.”
Earlier, the US Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign Minister met in Munich but the talks failed to overcome Moscow’s misgivings.
After the resolution failed, Hillary Clinton told reporters:
“As I said at the United Nations on Tuesday, to block this resolution is to bear responsibility for the horrors that are occurring on the ground in Syria.”
The US ambassador at the UN declared herself ‘disgusted.’ France has condemned the Russian and Chinese veto.
Russia’s Lavrov is due to meet President Assad in Damascus next week.