Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolution on Thursday that threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not stop using heavy weapons against an uprising and withdraw troops from towns and cities.
The 11-2 vote was the third time that Russia and China, key allies of the Syrian government, have used their veto power to block U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad and halt the violence in the 16-month prolonged conflict that has taken lives of thousands.
The vetoed resolution would have extended a U.N. observer mission in Syria for 45 days.
Russia and China have clearly placed themselves on the "'wrong side of history" and the "wrong side of the Syrian people."
China and Rusia's actions will protect a brutal regime. They have chosen to put their national interests ahead of the lives of millions of Syrians.
Britain has drafted a new resolution to extend a U.N. mission in Syria for a final period of 30 days and it could be voted on later on Thursday.
However, I am sure that with or without China or Russia, the double veto will not stop the world's effort to save Syria. The world will continue to assist a Syrian opposition on its path to democratic transition in Syria.
Proponents of strong U.N. action on Syria would not be dissuaded.
However, time is of essence when it comes to human lives.
So I urge Russia and China to consider the human lives at stake before their national interest.