Russia vetoed the UN proposal, supported by 58 countries, to allow the International Criminal Court to investigate the Syrian Regime and Opposition for possible war crimes. According to UN investigators, a substantial amount of evidence that indicates both sides had committed crimes against humanity exists. China, who had remained silent on the issue, had vetoed the proposal as well.
This is the fourth time Russia and China had vetoed any proposal regarding action on the four-year Syrian civil war.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the ICC proposal was only a “publicity stunt” and it will only make matters worse for the UN and the possibility of a diplomatic resolution to the crisis. Syria’s UN Ambassador had also sent a letter explaining that the UN proposal will only aggravate matters between Syria and the west.
According to US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, Russia and China’s veto of the proposal will disable the UN to condemn “widespread violation” of human rights and international humanitarian law by both the Syrian government and opposition. She said the two countries will bear the shame of not serving and protecting the human rights of Syrians caught between the crossfire.
Meanwhile, Syria’s government is due to deliver the last of its chemical weapons arsenal. However, it may miss its final deadline because Syria has not yet moved the last stockpile. It had already missed the earlier deadline of April 27 to hand over its complete chemical stockpile to be destroyed.