Russia today exercised its veto at the UN Security Council to prevent the renewal of a mandate for the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM)to continue investigating allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria.
US officials were quick to condemn Russia for the veto, saying it showed they were putting “political considerations over the Syrian people who were so brutally murdered.” The US is eager to see the Syrian government blamed for all such incidents.
Russian officials, however, say they aren’t precluding voting for the renewal of the JIM. Instead, they want to wait for the JIM report due for release later this week, and to discuss the report on the work JIM has already done, before deciding on the extension.
The most recent OPCW report confirmed the destruction of 25 out of 27 chemical weapons facilities in Syria, and the confirmation of the last two being dismantled could happen soon. The Tuesday JIM vote was 11-2-1, with China abstaining, Russia and Bolivia voting no, and Russia vetoing.