11 October 2016 Current Affairs: Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution demanding an end to the bombing of Aleppo city in Syria on 8 October 2016.
The draft text proposed by France and Spain won 11 votes in favor, Russia and Venezuela voted against the resolution, while China and Angola abstained. It was the fifth time that Moscow used its veto to block the UN action to end the five year war in Syria.
UN estimates say, the Syrian conflict has driven more than 4.8 million refugees to neighbouring countries, hundreds of thousands in Europe, and displaced 6.6 million people inside the Syria against a pre-war population of over 20 million. It says that the war had claimed at least 200000 lives.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault had urged the Security Council to take immediate action to save Aleppo from being destroyed by the Russia-backed Syrian bombing campaign.
Earlier, Russia presented its own draft text that urged for a separation of moderate and extremist forces in Syria but making no mention of a bombing halt in the besieged city of Aleppo. The draft, put forward by Moscow failed to get the support of minimum nine votes. This text received 4 votes in favour, 9 against (France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States), and 2 abstentions (Angola and Uruguay).
It is reported that Russia's introduction of a rival resolution yesterday took Western supporters of the French draft by surprise. Several diplomats privately called it a brilliant move by Moscow because it will force Western powers to veto as well.