Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would impose sanctions against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad if he does not end the use of heavy weapons.
It was the third time in nine months that Russia and China have used their powers as permanent members of the 15-nation council to block resolutions on Syria. There were 11 votes in favor, Russia and China's votes against and two abstentions.
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"The United Kingdom is appalled at the veto of Russia and China," said Britain's UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant, whose country took the lead in writing up the resolution.
The text, backed by the United States, France, Germany and Portugal, calls for non-military sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter if Assad does not withdraw heavy weapons from Syrian cities in 10 days.
Russia had said it could not accept sanctions.