Russian Federation casts 10th United Nations veto on Syria action, blocking inquiry renewal

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Federation said Tuesday it is talking to the United States about renewing the mandate of experts working to determine who was responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, but the USA says Moscow won't consider the American draft resolution. Russian Federation withdrew its rival draft resolution to renew the inquiry shortly before the council vote on the USA draft. Bolivia also voted against it.

The competing US draft resolution, which won 11 votes in favor, was vetoed by Russian Federation.

Britain's United Nations ambassador told reporters Tuesday that it's extremely important that everyone who uses chemical weapons in Syria or elsewhere is held accountable, and the JIM is crucial in determining responsibility. The draft resolution was rejected as only four members of the council voted in favor, seven voted against and four abstained. In late October, the JIM issued yet another reoport, a seventh in a row, to blame the April 4, 2017 sarin attack in Khan Sheikhun on the Syrian authorities and the September 16, 2016 attack involving the use of mustard gas in Maarat Umm Khawsh on militants of the terrorist group Islamic State (outlawed in Russia). The panel's mandate expires at midnight.

Russian Federation and the US have failed to resolve a dispute over extending the mandate of a UN-backed investigative team that blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces for a chemical weapons attack in April that killed more than 80 people.

"Russia has killed the Joint Investigative Mechanism ..."

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he opposed the U.S. measure because it was "geared toward entrenching the inherent flaws of the JIM" and did nothing to improve its work.

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Thursday's resolution received 11 votes in favor and two against, with two abstentions.

"Need all on the UN Security Council to vote to renew the Joint Investigative Mechanism for Syria to ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again", the president tweeted.

United Nations diplomats said they were expecting a Russian veto of the U.S. text during the council meeting scheduled for 3:00 pm (2000 GMT).

Later in November, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the probe into April Khan Shaykhun's chemical incident of disregarding the Convention's guidelines and of "dilettantism".

"Peskov added, ". We are talking about the countries that are the guarantors of the Syrian peace process, the agenda is Syria".

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