Russia Wednesday vetoed a Western-drafted Security Council resolution on an alleged chemical attack in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.

Among 15 council members, ten voted in favor; Bolivia and the council’s veto-wielding power Russia voted against; China, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan abstained.

The document drafted by the United Kingdom, France and the United States demanded the Syrian military to provide UN investigators with unfettered access to details of their operations on the day of the alleged attack.

The text also condemned the reported use of chemical weapons and demanded a speedy investigation.

On April 4, a reported toxic gas attack hit the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib, killing over 80 people and wounding scores of others.

Two days after, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles against the Shairat military base in central Syria, where the United States believes that airplanes carrying chemical weapons took off.

Ahead of the vote, Russia’s Deputy Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov told the council that putting the draft resolution into a vote did not serve a useful purpose.

Safronkov said Russia has proposed an independent international mission sent by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to visit Khan Sheikhoun and the Shairat airbase for investigations.

He said that Russia hopes the United States can give constructive response to this suggestion.

Numerous Western powers, including the United States, blamed the government of Bashar al-Assad of the attack.

The Syrian government denied possession of chemical weapons, while the Russian Defense Ministry accused Syrian rebels of producing toxic agents in a depot which exploded under a strike by Syrian warplanes and caused the contamination. Enditem

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Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh