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Russia, which has veto power as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, was joined by Bolivia in voting down the resolution. China, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained.
Ten states, including the US, the UK and France – the Troika that put together the text of the resolution – voted in favor.
“The main objection to the resolution is that it apportioned blame prior to an objective outside investigation of the incident... The outcome of the vote was predestined, because we disagreed categorically with a document that was fundamentally misconceived,” said Vladimir Safronkov, Russia’s deputy envoy at the Security Council, who also accused other states and international organizations of making “no effort” to inspect the site of the alleged attack.
Accepting the resolution would also “legitimize” the April 7 air strike carried out by the US on the Shayrat airbase in northern Syria, from which Washington claims government planes carrying the deadly sarin nerve gas took off, Safronkov said.
Britain’s representative Matthew Rycroft said Russia’s veto – the eighth since the Syrian conflict began in 2011 – was "indefensible," and reminded Moscow of its own promise to rid the country of chemical weapons following an alleged attack in 2013.
France's President Francois Hollande said Moscow was taking on a "heavy burden of responsibility" for "obstructing" the efforts to end the Syrian crisis.