British ambassador to UN: Russian commitment to peace in Syria a 'sham'

In a damning short speech, UK's representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft told the UN's Security Council that Russia's assurances to help bring peace to Syria were a "sham".

The talk came as Russia vetoed - for the fifth time in five years - action on Syria.

Mr Rycroft said the veto "denigrated the credibility and respect of the Security Council in the eyes of the world" and labelled Russia's use of it a "cynical abuse" of the privilege of being a permanent member of the UNSC.

Speaking directly to Russian Federation representative Vitaly Churkin, Mr Rycroft said: "Your veto today, Mr President, has only confirmed what we have known for so long.

"Russia's actions in recent weeks have exposed just how hollow Russia's commitment to the political process is," he said. "Today we have seen that commitment for what it really is - a sham."

"Instead of investing energy in peace, you have instead supported, facilitated, and co-operated with the Syrian regime to retake and destroy areas standing against Assad."

Following Mr Rycroft's blistering attack on Russia, several delegates to the UNSC staged a walk-out.