Russia has dismissed as "unconvincing" a United Nations report finding that Syrian forces carried out three chemical attacks, and said no sanctions should be imposed.
"We believe that the proof is not there for any punitive action to be taken. It's simply not there," Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on the report on October 27.
The joint UN-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons report provided documentation that government forces carried out three chlorine gas attacks on villages in 2014 and 2015.
But Churkin insisted the findings were not strong enough to trigger sanctions.
The conclusions "are not substantiated by sufficient testimonial basis, first of all material proof. They are full of contradictions and therefore unconvincing," he said.
The findings are "not definitive, have no legally binding force and cannot serve as accusatory conclusions for taking legal decisions," he said.
Britain and France are demanding sanctions, however.
"Those responsible for using chemical weapons must be sanctioned. There is no other way," French Ambassador Francois Delattre said.
"There should be accountability for every single person involved in any use of chemical weapons in Syria," British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa