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

Russia Demands that US Respect Agreement on Antiterrorism in Syria

UNSC to vote on Syria chem gas attacks probe

This will be a serious blow to efforts to hold those responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria accountable.

Russian Federation has sharply criticized the JIM after its latest report blamed the Syrian air force for a sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhoun that left scores dead. The United States put to a resolution to vote to renew the JIM with the same mandate for an additional year on October 24, two days before the release of the JIM's final report.

Before the voting, Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said Russian Federation was withdrawing its draft as the Security Council had refused to satisfy Moscow's request to consider the USA draft first. The two documents had different timeframe - the Russian draft extended the mandate until May 16, 2018, while the U.S. version gave the mission 24 months since the adoption of the resolution.

The resolution received 11 votes in favor and two against, with two abstentions.

"We would like to remind our United States colleagues and those who ... supported their unrealistic draft, we would like to remind you that you bear the burden of responsibility if the mechanism can not be salvaged", Nebenzia told the council. After the council voted on the USA draft, Bolivia then requested that the body vote on the Russian text.

"Russia has refused to engage on our draft resolution — which the vast majority of council members agree is the most viable text — in spite of our multiple attempts to consider Russian concerns", said the spokesperson, who wasn't authorized to be quoted by name.

A joint report from the United Nations and worldwide chemical weapons inspectors last month determined the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack.

President Donald Trump urged the council to support the panel's continued work, saying on Twitter that this would "ensure" that President Bashar al-Assad's "regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again". Two days prior to that, Russian Federation vetoed a non-agreed draft resolution extending the JIM's mandate and later made public its opinion of the investigators' report, saying it was "amateurish" and its conclusions were based on "a laymen's methodology".

Nebenzia said Monday, "It is important that the JIM is renewed but on an updated mandate because the systemic errors that we saw with the recent report should be corrected, and that's the aim of our resolution".

He said "we have always maintained that the JIM should carry out comprehensive, objective and impartial investigations into chemical attacks in Syria".

In September 2013, Syria accepted a Russian proposal to relinquish its chemical weapons stockpile and join the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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