U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said Thursday that Russia is holding the U.N. Security Council “hostage,” forcing the U.S. to act alone in response to a chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime.
“Russia continues to hold the council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities, including as a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Power told reporters at the U.N. in New York, as quoted by Politico.
Power accused the council of protecting Russian interests at the expense of Middle East stability, calling Russia “the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world’s largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter-century, while chemical weapons inspectors sent by the United Nations were just across town,” according to Politico.
She added that the U.S. has attempted to address the Syrian conflict through the U.N.’s diplomatic channels for the past two and a half years, but said the country must resort to using force on its own due to Russia’s position.