As reported by Censor.NET citing CNN, Russia Tuesday vetoed a U.S. draft resolution at the UN Security Council that would have established an independent investigation into the suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria.
"When the people of Douma, along with the rest of the international community, looked to this council to act, one country stood in the way. History will record that," U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said. "History will record that on this day, Russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people," she added.
In November, Russia blocked the renewal of the independent panel investigating chemical weapons in Syria, and British Ambassador Karen Pierce reminded the council that Tuesday's vote marked Russia's sixth veto related to chemical weapons in Syria.
Seven nations -- including the U.S. -- voted against a Russian resolution that would have set up an investigation overseen by the Security Council.
According to Haley, that draft was designed to give Russia a chance to approve the investigators who were chosen for the task and allow the Security Council to assess the findings of the investigation before any report was released.
A second Russian resolution that only supported the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons fact-finding mission in Syria also failed to pass.
The organization is made up of an international team of investigators but it cannot on its own determine who was responsible for the attack.
While Haley and Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia were seen greeting each other with handshakes and kisses on the cheek prior to the meeting, the mood quickly changed as the diplomats hurled accusations at each other.
Prior to vetoing the U.S. draft, Nebenzia said that by putting the resolution forward for a vote "the delegation of the United States is once again trying to mislead the international community and making yet one more step toward confrontation."
Syrian activist groups on Saturday said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped from helicopters over a rebel-held city in Syria killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more. Syrian state news said an "official source" denied the allegations.
In the early hours of Monday morning, Syria State TV reported that "several missiles" had been fired at the T4 air base in Homs, in the country's west, adding that it was "likely an attack by the U.S." The Pentagon issued a statement Sunday denying it was conducting air strikes in the region.
On April 9, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said that Moscow had warned the United States of "grave repercussions" if it carries out an attack against Syrian government forces over reports of a deadly chemical weapons attack.
"There was no chemical weapons attack," Nebenzia told the U.N. Security Council.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council that Washington "will respond" to the attack on a rebel-held town in Syria regardless of whether the United Nations Security Council acts or not.
"We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done," Reuters quoted Haley as saying.
"History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria," she said. "Either way, the United States will respond."