NEW DELHI: Russia and China vetoed a resolution proposed by the United States aimed at achieving a ceasefire in Gaza. Moscow criticized Washington, labeling its efforts as hypocritical and ineffective in pressuring Israel.
The resolution, brought forth by the US, intended to endorse an immediate and sustained ceasefire for the first time while condemning the October 7 attack by Hamas. However, Russia and China exercised their veto power, with Algeria voting against and Guyana abstaining. Permanent members France and Britain supported the resolution, along with 11 other Security Council members.
Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador, lambasted the US for failing to restrain Israel and derided its proposal as a hypocritical spectacle. He criticized the resolution for lacking assessment of Israel’s actions and suggested it would only shield Israel from accountability.
The draft resolution tied the ceasefire to ongoing negotiations facilitated by Qatar, with backing from the US and Egypt, aimed at ending the conflict in exchange for the release of hostages held by Hamas.
In response to the veto, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield condemned Russia and China’s actions as cynical and petty. She accused them of obstructing progress and said, “Let’s be honest – for all the fiery rhetoric, we all know that Russia and China are not doing anything diplomatically to advance a lasting peace or to meaningfully contribute to the humanitarian response effort”. Thomas-Greenfield also criticized both countries for their purported lack of meaningful contribution to achieving lasting peace and addressing humanitarian concerns in the region.
UNSC has previously passed two resolutions addressing the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but none specifically calling for a cease-fire. In a recent session, Russia and China vetoed a resolution put forth by the United States, which aimed to secure temporary halts in the conflict to facilitate aid delivery, protect civilians, and cease the arming of Hamas. The two countries argued that the resolution did not align with the global consensus urging an immediate cease-fire.
US, a staunch supporter of Israel, has vetoed three resolutions that demanded a cessation of hostilities. The most recent veto occurred on February 20, where an Arab-supported resolution, backed by 13 council members with one abstention, was blocked. Prior to this, the US had circulated its own version of a resolution, which underwent significant revisions before being voted on.
Palestinian militants’ October 7 incursion into southern Israel resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 individuals and the abduction of 250 others. The Health Ministry in Gaza has reported nearly 32,000 Palestinian fatalities.
(With agency inputs)

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