|Thursday, 21 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-07-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 2 Vetoes on UN Zimbabwe Sanctions12 Ιουλ 2008 10:33:0
Russia and China vetoed on Friday a Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe for holding a violent presidential poll that was boycotted by the opposition candidate.
The resolution would have imposed an arms embargo on the southern African country and financial and travel restrictions on President Robert Mugabe and 13 other officials, and called for a U.N. special envoy for Zimbabwe to be appointed.
Nine countries voted for the U.S.-drafted text, five, including veto-holding Russia and China, opposed it and one abstained in the 15-nation council. The result marked a failure by the Western bloc to induce Russia and China to at least abstain because of the gravity of the crisis in Zimbabwe. It also sparked angry exchanges between the big powers.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad accused Russia of a "U-turn" from its position at a Group of Eight summit in Japan earlier this week, when Moscow joined a statement backing sanctions against Mugabes government.
British Ambassador John Sawers told the council it had "failed to shoulder its responsibility to do what it can to prevent a national tragedy deepening and spreading its effects across southern Africa." He called the Russian and Chinese decisions "deeply damaging to the long-term interests of Zimbabwes people (and to) prospects for bringing to an early end the violence and the oppression in Zimbabwe."
Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters before the vote Beijing could not accept the language of the resolution and wanted dialogue between Zimbabwes parties, "so to adopt such a resolution at this time would not be helpful."