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Russia vetoes UNSC resolution on Mali sanctions extension; UK calls move 'reckless use of veto'

13 Security Council members voted in favour of a resolution, drafted by France and UAE, to extend the sanctions by the United Nations and independent monitoring for another year. Russia, during voting, cast a veto, while China abstained from voting on Wednesday.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick New York Published on: August 31, 2023 7:48 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Image Source : AP Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia has vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution on the renewal of the sanctions against Mali, drawing sharp reactions from the United Kingdom which called the country’s move “reckless use” of veto.

13 Security Council members voted in favour of a resolution, drafted by France and UAE, to extend the sanctions by the United Nations and independent monitoring for another year. Russia, during voting, cast a veto, while China abstained from voting on Wednesday (August 30).

The UK has deeply regretted Russia’s "reckless use" of the veto.

“The United Kingdom cannot support Russia’s proposal to dissolve the Panel of Experts on Mali, nor its attempt to predetermine the termination of sanctions measures,” UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, James Kariuki said at the UNSC meeting on Mali held on Wednesday.

The sanction which was put in 2017 and has been in place since, was proposed to be extended until August 31, 2024. Russia was adamant that this extension should be the final one.

Ahead of the voting, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya termed the resolution counterproductive “not only in terms of ensuring the efficiency of the sanction regime but also for the peace process in Mali" given Bamako's official request to lift the sanctions regime.

In order to pass the resolution, at least nine votes were required in favour without the veto from China, France, Britain, Russia, or the United States. 15 members of the Security Council cast votes on the two draft resolutions. It got 13 “yes” votes in the 15-member council but was vetoed by Russia.

As a result, after August 31, when the current sanctions regime ends, there will be no sanctions on Mali.

Under the current regime of restrictions imposed on Mali, the sanction list may include individuals and organizations responsible for actions jeopardizing peace, security or stability in Mali, in particular those who are participating in hostilities in violation of the 2015 peace agreement, hindering its implementation, hampering humanitarian assistance, violating international humanitarian law, and involved in recruiting children.

Those mentioned in the blacklist are banned from visiting foreign countries and their assents and economic resources are frozen.

In August 2020, Mali's president was overthrown in a coup that included an army colonel who carried out a second coup and was sworn in as president in June 2021.

He developed ties to Russia's military and the Wagner group whose head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was reportedly killed in a plane crash on a flight from Moscow last week.

(With inputs from agencies)

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