A war of words between Russia and the United States has spilled onto social media after Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution on chemical weapons in Syria for the 10th time since the start of the war.
Russia on Thursday blocked a UN and Dutch-based intergovernmental group tasked with finding those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria. The mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) expires on Friday.
The group recently blamed a sarin gas attack in the village of Khan Shaykhun, which killed nearly 100 civilians this year, on Syria. Moscow immediately rejected its findings as biased.
Shortly after Thursday’s vote in New York that effectively allowed the JIM to expire, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accused Russia of killing the investigative mechanism.
The Reuters news agency cited Vasily Nebenzya, the head of Russia’s mission, as saying the U.S. used the investigative mechanism as “a puppet-like structure to manipulate public opinion.”
Haley said American diplomats were unable to reach their Russian counterparts ahead of the crucial vote. “They’ve been too busy to talk to us this week.”
“When I have tried to call Vasily, for some reason he’s not available," she told reporters walking up to the vote.
“Wrong!” Russia’s permanent mission to the UN wrote on Twitter on Friday. “#Nebenzia: Not a single missed call on my phone.”
“And our experts replied as many times as [they had been] contacted by the US counterparts."