China and Russia have once again vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that proposes the U.N. impose sanctions on Syria.
In response to this decision the United States, the United Kingdom and France said the U.N. has failed the people of Syria (reports BBC News and Reuters).
Russia and China have used their vetoing power at the Security Council to veto two previous resolutions that threatened sanctions against the Assad regime. The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has called their latest vetoing "inexcusable and indefensible," saying "they have turned their back on the people of Syria in their darkest hour."
The proposed resolution that China and Russia has vetoed had proposed implementing sanctions on Syria if the government refuses to pull back its military forces from the country's population centers.
The use of Chapter Seven of the UN Charter (which may allow military action to be taken by U.N. states against the Syrian regime if it fails to heed the sanctions and diplomatic pressure) seems to have been the main driving force in Russia's decision to veto. The U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin was quoted as stating that Russia fears it will lead to "external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs."
The U.S. ambassador Susan Rice has made a counter claim stating that suggesting the resolution would lead to military force being taken against Assad is "paranoid if not disingenuous."
France's envoy has accused Russia of attempting to buy time for the Syrian regime.
Similarly Britain's Ambassador to the U.N. was quoted as saying that "the effect of their actions is to protect a brutal regime. They have chosen to put their national interests ahead of the lives of millions of Syrians."
Susan Rice talked about U.S. plans to operate outside the security council, she said that "the United States has not, and will not, pin its policy on an unarmed observer mission that is deployed in the midst of such widespread violence and that cannot even count on the most minimal support of the security council. Instead, we will intensify our work with a diverse range of partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on the Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need."
She also added that the possibility of the regime using chemical weapons "should be a concern for us all."