Russian Federation and China's abusive use of veto "shameful"

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Paris, Feb 28 France slammed Russian Federation today for vetoing a Western-backed United Nations resolution that would have imposed sanctions on Syria over chemical weapons use, while britain also expressed its dismay.

This was the seventh time that Russia, Syria's top military ally, has used its veto power to shield the damascus regime.

The draft also envisaged sanctions against a number of Syrian officials and government structures allegedly involved in the chemical attacks and production of poisonous agents.

It is of monumental importance for the newly appointed UN Secretary General, as well as Security Council members, to speak out forcefully when states fail to vote in favour of draft resolutions aimed at preventing or ending war crimes. Haley said that in addition to those confirmed instances, there were credible reports of the weapons having been used "many, many" more times.

"The statements we've heard leave no doubt the draft was put to a vote based on the doctrine of Western states".

It was the seventh time Russian Federation used its veto power to shield the Damascus regime. China generally votes in line with the Russian position on Syria, and the veto it cast Tuesday was its sixth on a resolution seeking to address the conflict. Bolivia also voted against the motion while Egypt, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained. A negative vote - or veto - from one of the Council's five permanent members means a resolution can not be adopted.

China's ambassador, Liu Jieyi, recalling the now-discredited USA warnings of Iraq's "so-called WMDs" in 2003, criticised the resolution as an example of "hypocrisy" by the Western powers.

China's United Nations ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said: "We oppose the use of chemical weapons" but said it was too soon to impose sanctions as investigations into their use were still ongoing. After a sarin gas attack on a suburb of Damascus in August 2013, Moscow and Washington struck a deal to force Assad to sign the chemical weapons treaty and dismantle his stockpile of the poisonous munitions under worldwide supervision.

"Conclusions of the Joint Investigation Mechanism lack convincing evidence that could serve as grounds for accusations", Safronkov said.

In response to the vote, United Kingdom ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said: "Not taking action against chemical weapons use undermines confidence in the worldwide community's ability to tackle flagrant violations of global law - and undermines the trust of Syrians affected by these horrific attacks".

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons in the war that has killed 310,000 people since March 2011.

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