October 5, 2011
Russia and China have vetoed a European-backed UN security council resolution that threatened sanctions against the Syrian regime if it did not immediately halt its military crackdown against civilians.
The resolution would have been the first such legally binding move adopted by the security council since President Bashar Assad’s military began using tanks and soldiers against protesters in mid-March. The UN estimates there have been more than 2,700 deaths.
The European sponsors of the resolution had tried to avoid a veto by watering down the language on sanctions three times, to the point where the word “sanctions” was taken out. The eventual vote was 9-2 with four abstentions: India, South Africa, Brazil and Lebanon.
It is the first double veto by Russia and China since July 2008 when they rejected proposed sanctions against Zimbabwe. In January 2007 they both vetoed a resolution against the Burmese regime.