Russia and the United States have reportedly agreed to disagree over a probe into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
According to several media reports, representatives of both nations in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) blocked each other over a move to allow international investigations into chemical attacks in Syria, where a civil war has been on since 2011.
The media reports said that three draft resolutions on the chemical weapons attacks in Syria failed to get passed in a UNSC meeting. Russia vetoed a U.S. text, while two Russian-drafted resolutions failed to get the minimum nine votes required for approval.
Moscow opposes any Western strike on Syria. It vetoed UNSC action on Syria on twelve previous occasions.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the UNSC that adopting her country's resolution was the least member nations could do.
"History will record that, on this day, Russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people," Haley was quoted, as saying, while referring to Syrian President Assad.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Washington's decision to put forward its resolution could be a prelude to a Western strike on Syria.
Meanwhile, international chemical weapons experts are expected to go to Douma to investigate a suspected poison gas attack.
The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syria had been asked to make the necessary arrangements for the deployment of an investigation team.
"The team is preparing to deploy to Syria shortly," it said in a statement.
The mission will aim to determine whether banned munitions were used but will not assign blame.
European governments said they will wait for the results of the OPCW investigation and for more solid forensic evidence before taking the next step on the matter.