WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States and Europe failed to secure even the threat of U.N. sanctions against Syria.
Russia and China vetoed a resolution Tuesday that would have considered further action, including sanctions, unless Syria ended its brutal crackdown on democracy protesters.
The original resolution, promoted by the United Nations, Portugal, France, Britain and Germany, would have sanctioned Syria. Efforts to get the Russians and Chinese on board led to the removal of sanctions for now, but the Western nations insisted on raising their likelihood should Syria persist in its crackdown.
Russia is Syria’s closest ally outside the Middle East, while China is a major trading partner with Iran, an ally of Syria.
Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, blasted the veto.
"During this season of change, the people of the Middle East can now see clearly which nations have chosen to ignore their calls for democracy and instead prop up desperate, cruel dictators," she said.
Nine of the Security Council nations voted in favor of the sanctions; four nations abstained.