China and Russia on Thursday vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for the alleged war crimes.
It is the fourth time both countries have blocked Western resolutions relating to the three-year conflict in Syria.
On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said the draft is unacceptable to the Kremlin, and Moscow will not back it.
“The draft resolution that is currently submitted to the Security Council for us is unacceptable and we will not support it. If it is put to a vote, we will veto it.”
The 13 other members of the Security Council voted in favor.
“The draft resolution has not been adopted owing to the negative votes of permanent members of the Council,” said South Korea ambassador Oh Joon, rotating president of the chamber.
Moscow is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s closest ally, and has provided him with diplomatic cover throughout the crisis.
Beijing generally aligns with the Russian position.
The text, drawn up by France, was co-sponsored by 60 countries, including members of the European Union, Japan, South Korea and several African states.
Syria is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court so only the Security Council can decide whether to refer war crimes to the court.