The editorial board neglected to mention that Russia vetoes any resolution castigating Russia or its allies.
Russia has no shame, no morals, and no scruples.
Russia proved again on Tuesday that there is no crime heinous enough to make it turn against Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. It vetoed a resolution before the United Nations Security Council that would have punished Syria for using chemical weapons.
The Kremlin’s decision was in keeping with President Vladimir Putin’s vigorous support of the Syrian military in a six-year-long war that has killed half a million people.
The vote marked the seventh time since 2011 that Mr. Putin protected Mr. Assad from international condemnation or sanctions and, as often is the case, China followed Russia’s example. Although Moscow had made clear in advance that it would veto the resolution, Britain and France were right to insist on a vote and to expose Russia’s moral bankruptcy.
The resolution, supported by Britain, France and the United States, would have imposed sanctions on some Syrian military officials and entities for dropping chlorine-filled barrel bombs on rebel-held areas in 2014 and 2015, according to a United Nations panel. The use of chlorine as a weapon is banned under an international treaty that the Assad government signed in 2013, as part of the deal struck by the United States and Russia to force Mr. Assad to dismantle his stockpile of the chemical munitions.
Although much of the stockpile was destroyed, the United Nations panel subsequently determined that the Syrian government had violated the deal. In addition, a recent report by Human Rights Watch concluded that the Syrian military had systematically dropped chlorine bombs in the final weeks of the battle last fall to take Aleppo from opposition forces.
Although Russia was deeply involved in the Security Council’s deliberations on Syria, it rejected the resolution as “politically biased” and complained that its concerns about the draft language had not been addressed. If such complaints were legitimate, other Council members would undoubtedly have made adjustments to secure Russia’s vote. Mr. Putin’s argument that the resolution interfered with cease-fire negotiations between the Syrian government and the rebels was also not credible.
Given President Trump’s affinity for Mr. Putin, his administration’s decision to vote for the resolution was unexpected and encouraging. The American ambassador, Nikki Haley, took a hard stance, calling chemical weapons attacks in Syria “barbaric” and accusing Russia and China of putting “their friends in the Assad regime ahead of our global security.” That’s been true for years, with the catastrophe in Syria showing no sign of ending.