Russian Federation vetoes United States resolution on Syria chemical weapons use

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A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

The United States and Russia, Syria's ally, have put forward rival draft resolutions on renewing the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), tasked with investigating Syria's toxic gas attacks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Sochi next week to discuss the yearslong civil war in Syria, the Kremlin says.

It was the tenth time that Russian Federation has used its veto power to stop council action that targeted its ally Syria. USA envoy to the UN Nikki Haley warned after the council vote on Thursday: "We will do it again if we must". The US resolution was supported by 11 members of the Council.

Rycroft said after the veto that Russian Federation has "failed as a supposed supporter of peace in Syria". In late October, the JIM issued yet another reoport, a seventh in a row, to blame the April 4, 2017 sarin attack in Khan Sheikhun on the Syrian authorities and the September 16, 2016 attack involving the use of mustard gas in Maarat Umm Khawsh on militants of the terrorist group Islamic State (outlawed in Russia). But she claimed the Russian draft would keep Syria from being investigated and said Russia is continuing "to push unacceptable language only meant to undermine the investigators and divide this council".

The mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism expires on November 17.

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Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he opposed the United States measure because it was "geared toward entrenching the inherent flaws of the JIM" and did nothing to improve its work.

The statement comes as a joint worldwide inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is set to expire Thursday.

"What is at stake is the professional, independent, objective, scientific, nonpartisan, depoliticized JIM which we've now got, which we've had before, and which we need in the future", Rycroft said.

While Russia agreed to the 2015 creation of the JIM, it has consistently questioned its findings, which also concluded that the Syrian government used chlorine as a weapon several times.

Later in November, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the probe into April Khan Shaykhun's chemical incident of disregarding the Convention's guidelines and of "dilettantism".

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