Sweden proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Thursday that would ask U.N. chief Antonio Guterres to send a high-level disarmament team to Syria to address "all outstanding issues on the use of chemical weapons once and for all".
Moscow and Washington halted attempts by each other in the U.N. Security Council to set up global investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which is in the throes of a seven-year-old civil war.
Before the vote, Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia accused the USA of pushing for a vote as a pretext for possible use of force against Syria.
"If you took the decision to carry out an illegal military adventure -. then you will have to bear responsibility for it yourselves", he warned.
She said the United States "went the extra mile" to get Russian support for the resolution to ensure that a new investigative body would be impartial, independent and professional - provisions she said were not in the rival Russian resolution.
Russian Federation tabled a second draft resolution for vote on Tuesday for an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the watchdog of the Chemical Weapons Convention, into the chemical attack allegations. Russia vetoed a US text, while two Russian-drafted resolutions failed to get a minimum nine votes to pass.
"We are at a very fragile phase of council deliberations now and we need to reflect carefully on the way forward to ensure that we don't jump into further paralysis (that is) hard to defend or fix", Skoog said. The draft received 12 votes in favour, two against (Bolivia and Russia) and one abstention (China).
The United States is consulting Britain and France about a possible military response.
The U.S. draft received 13 votes in favor, but Russian Federation blocked it, using its veto power.
The first draft considered yesterday - penned by the United States - which would have established a new investigative mechanism for one year, as well as identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons, was rejected owing to a negative vote from Russian Federation. Besides, veto-wielding Britain, France and the United States all voted against it.
While Haley had insisted on an independent investigation mechanism in addition to the OPCW fact-finding mechanism, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert praised the Hague-based organisation that won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2013.
"I would once again ask you, once again beseech you to refrain from the plans that you are now developing for Syria", he said.