Three draft resolutions on investigating the alleged chemical attack in Syria failed to pass at the United Nations Security Council.
Russia put two documents to vote. The first one is the draft resolution on setting up a UN mechanism to investigate chemical attacks in Syria. It was drafted back in January and finalized in recent months.
The second document is a resolution that supports the deployment of the mission from Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to Douma to conduct the investigation.
The resolution condemns “any use of toxic chemicals as weapon in Syria” and contains requests to all parties of the conflict in Syria to immediately provide full access for OPCW experts to the place of incident.
The United States, in turn, brought to UN Security Council vote the draft resolution to establish a new mechanism of investigation of chemical attacks in Syria.
Russia vetoed the US resolution, while the Russian draft resolution did not garner the needed ten votes, receiving just six.
China was among the supporters, whose representative cautioned against military responses. Seven Council members voted against the resolution, while two others — Kuwait and Cote d’Ivoire — abstained.
The fate of the second Russian draft resolution was not decided at once. UN Security Council was temporarily suspended for consultations on the document to deploy OPCW mission to Syria’s Douma. After the discussion, the document was turned down, too, failing to garner enough votes. Six members of the Council abstained this time, five voted for it, the others abstained.
The main difference between the Russian and the US documents is in who and how determines the guilty party. The United States insisted that the new mechanism determine the guilty parties after which the UN Security Council could sanction the military response.
The Russian resolution said the UN Security Council will “thoroughly study” the committee’s conclusions, which, in turn, will not name the guilty party, but leave it to the Council.
“The authors are aware that [the US draft resolution] contradicts Russian position and will not be adopted,” Russian Envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said. “The delegation of the United States is once again trying to mislead the international community and making yet one more step towards confrontation by requesting a vote on a draft resolution that does not have unanimous support.”
For her part, US Envoy to the UN Nikki Haley urged other members of the Security Council not to support the Russian draft resolution.
She said the US version is the “bare minimum” of what the UN Security Council could do in response to the attack and that it guarantees an independent investigation.