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Russia's previous UN vetoes on Syria

1 min 50Approximate reading time

Since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Russia has protected its allies in Damascus from Western pressure, using its veto power 15 times at the United Nations Security Council.

Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are permanent Security Council members with veto powers. The other 10 members are elected for two-year terms on a rotating basis.

Security Council resolutions require nine positive votes and no veto to be adopted.

- Condemning Syria -

On October 4, 2011, six months after the conflict began, Russia and China block a proposed UN resolution condemning grave human rights violations in Syria and threatening measures against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

On February 4, 2012, Russia and China again veto a draft resolution that condemns a Syrian government crackdown on the opposition, while the Security Council's other members vote in favor.

The veto sparks an international outcry.

- Sanctions threat -

On July 19, 2012, Beijing and Moscow again veto a Western-backed resolution that threatens Damascus with sanctions if it does not stop using heavy weapons.

- War crimes -

On May 22, 2014, Beijing and Moscow block a French-drafted proposal for the Security Council to refer Syrian crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

- Aleppo truce -

On October 8, 2016, Russia alone vetoes a text proposed by France to halt the bombing of Aleppo. China abstains, the first time it does not veto a Syria draft resolution alongside Russia.

On December 5, a resolution calling for a truce in Aleppo is vetoed by China and Russia.

- Chemical weapons -

On February 28, 2017, Russia and China again veto a resolution -- drafted by Britain, France and the United States -- that would have imposed sanctions on Syria over chemical weapons use in the conflict.

On April 12, Russia vetoes a draft resolution demanding that Assad's government cooperate with an investigation into the deadly suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun on April 4. China abstains.

On October 24 and November 16-17, Russia uses its veto three times in less than a month to block draft resolutions on renewing a UN-led probe of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

On April 10, 2018, Russia vetoes a US-drafted resolution to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria aimed at identifying the perpetrators.

- Idlib -

On September 19, 2019, Russia and China veto a resolution drafted by Belgium, Germany and Kuwait that calls for a ceasefire in Syria's war-torn Idlib province.

- Humanitarian aid -

On December 20, 2019, Russia and China use their veto power to block another resolution drafted by Belgium, Germany and Kuwait that would have extended cross-border humanitarian aid to four million Syrians for a year.

Under Russian pressure, the UN on January 10, 2020 scales back the aid program, agreeing to prolong the assistance for only six months, and through two crossing points along the Turkish border instead of four.

Russia and China again veto a resolution on July 7 that would have extended authorization for the cross-border aid for a year and through two points of entry.

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