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Russia says it will veto UN Security Council resolution on referring Syria to criminal court

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations says his country will veto a U.N. Security Council resolution to refer the crisis in Syria to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Nearly 60 countries have urged the council to refer the matter to the ICC, and France has called for a vote Thursday.

But permanent council member Russia has vetoed three previous resolutions on the Syria conflict, and Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters Wednesday his country would do the same with this one. Moscow is Syria's closest ally.

Churkin calls the French-drafted resolution "simply a publicity stunt" that will hurt efforts to resolve the crisis politically.

The resolution asks the world's permanent war crimes tribunal to investigate allegations of heinous crimes by all sides.