Diplomats: Russia and China have blocked sanctions against 2 Libyans accused of hurting peace

United Nations diplomats say Russia and China have blocked sanctions against two Libyans accused by the United States, Britain, France and Spain of undermining peace efforts in the deeply divided north African nation.

The four Western countries urged the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Othman Mlekta, a militia commander, and Abdulrahman Swehli, a Misrata politician, to send a signal ahead of new peace talks on June 8 "that spoilers of the political process will not be tolerated."

Libya's U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi wrote a letter to council members Thursday opposing sanctions on them.

Two diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the process is private, said Russia and China raised objections ahead of the Friday afternoon deadline.

Libya is divided between rival governments and hundreds of militias.