Russia and China have used their veto against a European-drafted UN resolution condemning Syria. The move split the Security Council, revealing a fundamental difference in approach to the Assad regime’s six-month crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
For Russia and China, threatening sanctions is too confrontational. Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin said: “We believe it unacceptable the threat of sanctions against the Syrian authorities. It’s against the principle of a peaceful settlement on the basis of a full Syrian national dialogue.”
While Russia also claimed the move could have opened the door to a Libya-style military intervention, an outraged US counter claimed their veto was political.
Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN did not mince her words: “This is not about military intervention, this is not about Libya. That is a cheap ruse by those who’d rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.”
While the protests continue across Syria, an unverified video showed support for the new Syrian opposition council recently formed in neighbouring Turkey.