Russia blocked the UN from condemning the Syrian chemical attack
In an act of defiance Vladimir Putin used Russia’s veto to block the United Nations Security Council’s resolution to condemn the sarin gas attack.
World leaders have called for an international probe into the deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun last week, which caused an international outcry and prompted a retaliatory US missile strike.
But Russia used its veto for the eighth time during Syria's six-year-old civil war to shield president Assad's government.
China, which has vetoed six resolutions on Syria since the civil war began, abstained from the vote, along with Ethiopia and Kazakhstan. Ten countries, including Britain, the US and France voted in favour of the text, while Bolivia joined Russia in voting no.
British scientists confirmed sarin was the deadly gas used as Russia’s deputy UN envoy continued to deny President Assad’s forces were behind the attack.
Vladimir Safronkov said Western countries were wrong to blame the Syrian government for the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.
Vladimir Safronkov said Western countries were wrong to blame the Syrian government for the attack
I’m amazed that this was the conclusion. No one has yet visited the site of the crime. How do you know that?
Russia’s deputy UN envoy Vladimir Safronkov
He said: “I’m amazed that this was the conclusion. No one has yet visited the site of the crime. How do you know that?”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has called on Russia to stop acting "as a lifeline for Assad's murderous regime".
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UK ambassador to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said it was "indefensible" for Russia to continue to support the perpetrators of the attacks in northern Syria.
Boris Johnson called on Russia to stop acting "as a lifeline for Assad's murderous regime"
UK ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said Russia's support of Assad was "indefensible"
But Moscow refuses to bow to international pressure with Mr Putin to deny the Syrian government was to blame for the gas attack and adding a new theory that the attack may have been faked by President Assad's enemies.
The Russian President and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met today for tense talks after the US bombed the Syrian airbase suspected of launching the attack.
But it appears Mr Putin convinced Mr Tillerson that Moscow could force President Assad to relinquish power.
Horrific images depict sickening chemical gas attack in Syria
Tue, April 4, 2017
At least 58 people, including nine children, were killed in an air raid that released "toxic gas" on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun
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A child receiving treatment at a field hospital after an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, northen Syria
In a surprising statement, Mr Tillerson, following five hours of meetings with Mr Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said: "We discussed our view that Russia as Syria’s closest ally in the conflict perhaps has the best means of helping Assad recognise this reality.”
US President Donald Trump said hours after the meeting that “it would be fantastic” if Russia and the US can be friends as he declared it is time to end Syria’s civil war.
He added he would like to think Russia did not know about the gas attack in advance.