Russia, China veto UN resolution against Syria

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia and China have vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that threatened sanctions against Syria if it didn't immediately halt its military crackdown against civilians.

European members of the Security Council watered down the language on sanctions three times to try to avoid the vetoes.

The resolution was defeated late Tuesday by a vote of 9-2 with four abstentions.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency earlier Tuesday that the resolution was "unacceptable" because it envisaged sanctions and did not call on Syrian President Bashar Assad's government to start talks with the opposition.

The resolution demanded that Syria immediately end all violence and ensure human rights. It also called for "an inclusive Syrian-led political process."