Russia vetoes renewal of Mali sanctions regime

Russia's Kremlin. [Image for representational purpose only]
Russia's Kremlin. [Image for representational purpose only] Wikipedia/Крылов Иван

United Nations: Russia has vetoed a Security Council draft resolution that would have renewed the Mali sanctions regime.

The draft resolution, tabled by France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), won 13 votes in favour on Wednesday. However, Russia voted against it while China abstained.

A competing draft resolution tabled by Russia failed to win enough votes in favour for its adoption, Xinhua news agency reported.

To be adopted, a Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favour and no veto from any of the five permanent members of the council -- the US, France, the UK, Russia and China.

After the vote on the draft resolution tabled by France and the UAE, Russia's UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that his country had to cast a veto because the draft did not take into consideration Mali's concerns and the Russian position.

In a letter sent to Security Council members earlier this month, Mali asked the council to terminate the sanctions regime -- travel ban and asset freeze.

Before the vote on the Russian-drafted text, Nebenzia ruled out a return of the sanctions regime if Russia's draft was not adopted.

"So please do heed our words and vote in favour of this (Russian) draft," he said. "If this is not adopted, then there is no coming back to discussing any further resolution on this matter."

The US representative said earlier that his country was committed to working with other Security Council members "to achieve a mandate renewal".

The Security Council established the sanctions regime, targeting individuals and entities engaged in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Mali, in September 2017.

The council had renewed the Mali sanctions regime several times. The mandate for the regime expires on August 31, 2023.

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