Russia, China Block Western Attempts to Sanction Syria at UN

Nations No-Show on Counterproductive Text

Western nations have been both untimely and ill-advised with a lot of their UN Security Council resolutions on Syria, and today’s attempt died a fairly quiet death when both China and Russia no-showed, effectively blocking their latest idea.

Amid some very promising deals on humanitarian aid, which have both UN and Red Crescent workers delivering real aid on the ground in Syria, the US and other Western nations sought a resolution condemning Syria’s government and threatening harsh sanctions if they didn’t start letting the aid through.

China seemed reluctant to even discuss the matter, but Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was clear that Russia would veto any such resolution, saying if anything issuing a bunch of threats might disrupt the aid that’s already starting to flow.

Indeed, a lot of the problem with getting aid into rebel-held areas has been the rebels themselves, with factions trying to hold out for more favorable terms while accusing the government of blocking the shipments. If explicit UN threats were made, it is entirely probable that rebel factions would be even less willing to facilitate aid to civilians trapped in their territory, in hopes of getting more international action against the government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.