Russia, U.S. at Odds Before Vote on Syria Chemical Weapons Team


Russia and the U.S. have failed to resolve a dispute over extending the mandate of a UN-backed investigative team that blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for a chemical weapons attack in April that killed more than 80 people.

The continuing dispute means that the United Nations Security Council may deadlock over the issue in a vote planned for Thursday, with Russia potentially vetoing a U.S. proposal after the team’s initial report on the sarin gas attack received broad international support.

Russia, Syria’s ally on the Security Council, has put forward its own draft resolution rejecting the findings of the 26-member UN panel, a proposal that has little chance of passage. The U.S. draft resolution accepts the team’s findings and calls for its mandate, which ends on Thursday, to be extended by 18 months. Continue reading.