APTOPIX UN Syria Russia

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

BEIRUT (AP) - Russia has vetoed a USA -drafted United Nations resolution that would have condemned last weekend's suspected gas attack near Damascus and established a new body to determine responsibility for Syrian chemical weapons attacks.

Russian Federation used its veto to block a US-drafted measure, while two other proposals from Russian Federation failed to garner enough votes for adoption.

Twelve of the 15 members of the UN Security Council voted in favour of the United States text, while Russian Federation and Bolivia voted against it, reports Xinhua.

Russia's UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia, speaking following its veto, said the United States was attempting to mislead the worldwide community.

After vetoing the USA resolution, Russia's Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia said it would have recreated the joint investigative mechanism that lapsed in November 2017, because of a Moscow veto and a similar new body would take a long time to become active.

Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia, who spoke after Haley, argued that the US draft prejudges the outcome of the investigation. Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack was established.

"We do hope you will come to your senses", Nebenzia said.

"The use of chemical weapons, once allowed to spread, is a threat to everybody and if that takes hold and becomes a routine part of fighting, then we are all at risk", said a Security Council diplomat, who spoke to Reuters. "It is clear that the provocation. has nothing to do with a desire to investigate what happened in Douma".

However, some officials said a unilateral strike on Syria could be justified based on worldwide law.

Russian Federation vetoed the first resolution sponsored by the United States and its supporters calling for an independent investigative mechanism into the use of chemical weapons, after it got 12 votes for, two against and an abstention by China.

Five countries voted for it, four against it and six abstained.

Russia substantially amended those elements and presented them as a Russian-drafted resolution on Tuesday.

It too failed to pass the threshold of nine. Besides, veto-wielding Britain, France and the United States all voted against it.

"Today, I called the Ambassadors of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council to reiterate my deep concern about the risks of the current impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation spiraling out of control", the United Nations chief said.

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syria had been asked to make the necessary arrangements for the deployment of an investigation team.

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