On Wednesday, Russia Vetoed a proposal in the Security Council to extend sanctions against Mali, which is ruled by a military junta closely linked to Russia’s Wagner Group.
“Despite the fact that we have repeatedly urged a constructive approach and a reasonable compromise, the texts in no way took into account the concerns of the financial aspect or the position of the Russian Federation,” Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said after voting on the draft resolution.
The sanctions imposed in 2017 ban travel and freeze the assets of anyone seen as threatening the peace process in the volatile country.
He urged the military council to end the sanctions after earlier ordering an end to the decade-long United Nations peacekeeping mission.
Thirteen of the 15 Security Council members supported the draft resolution put forward by France, the former colonial power of Mali, and the UAE to extend the sanctions for another year.
Russia accepted the continuation of the sanctions but opposed maintaining a committee to monitor them.
Western powers accused Russia of responding to a report by the monitoring committee that criticized the actions of the Malian forces and their foreign security partners, in a clear reference to Wagner.
Robert Wood, the US representative for special political affairs to the United Nations, said, “Russia is seeking to revoke the mandate of the panel of experts to prevent the publication of embarrassing facts”.
He added that abolishing the committee would render the sanctions ineffective.
“Many are suffering from the ongoing violence, and because of Russia’s actions, this council has failed to renew some of the most important international initiatives to address this crisis,” he added.
Russia put forward its own draft resolution, but it alone voted in favor.
The Malian military council had urged an end to sanctions initially imposed to implement a 2015 peace deal in a country at war with jihadists.
Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said, “The objective assessment of the developments in the peace process indicates that the reason behind Mali’s request to establish that mechanism no longer exists”.