In an interesting development today regarding the latest Turkish operation in northern Syria.

The U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a statement on Turkey's counterterrorism operation in Syria at a closed meeting to discuss the action Thursday.

The U.S. and Russia vetoed a statement by five European members — France, Germany, Belgium, Britain and Poland — condemning the operation.

Is this the first time the US and Russia (or the USSR) co-vetoed something in the Security Council?

Note: co-vetoes are not uncommon, but usually they fall on former cold war lines, e.g. Russia and China co-veto something, and in the old days the US, UK, and France triple-vetoed other things.

(Frankly, it's not totally clear if this Turkey-related event was a real/open veto or a hidden veto. I guess we have to wait for more sources to cover it.)


2 Answers 2


According to wikipedia, this is the first time.

Even in the 1990s, after the Cold War ended and when Russian political power was greatly reduced, the US and Russia never vetoed together.

  • 7
    Hmm. The linked news article uses the term "statement". Wikipedia's talking about formal resolutions, and the vetoed statement doesn't appear on the Wiki list at this time. I'm not sure about this answer.
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 17:44

Given the benefit of hindsight, it is now clear that this was not a formal use of the veto as it was not a resolution put to a formal vote, and was instead a so-called 'hidden' veto.

A similar occasion where both the US and Russia have threatened to veto a resolution, resulting in it not being put to a formal vote, occurred in April 2019, when a British-drafted resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya was opposed by both countries.

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