Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a U.S.-drafted resolution calling on the UN Security Council to help ensure free and credible elections in Venezuela and unhindered access to aid.
It was one of two measures submitted on Venezuela, with the second one by Russia also failing to be adopted after being put to a vote by the Security Council.
The U.S. measure received nine votes in favor, which would have allowed its passage. But Russia and China, acting in their positions as permanent members of the council, exercised their right to veto the resolution.
Three members of the Security Council abstained from voting.
Russia called the U.S. resolution a thinly veiled attempt at deposing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
"This is but a smokescreen. Their goal is regime change," said Russia's UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya.
China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Wu Haitao, echoed his remarks.
"China opposes external forces interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs and opposes military intervention in Venezuela.”
Russia’s measure failed to pass after not receiving enough votes. Four member countries voted in favor of the resolution, with seven voting against and another four abstaining.
The Russian draft resolution expressed further concern over attempts to intervene in matters which are essentially in the jurisdiction of Venezuela and over the threat to use force against the country’s territorial integrity and political independence.
Although its resolution failed to pass, the U.S. expressed content that most of the council’s members had voted in favor of its resolution, unlike Russia’s.
"Democracies around the world and especially in Latin America, are mobilizing behind interim president [Juan] Guaido," said U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams.
"We look forward to genuinely free and fair elections and to a government that reflects the will and aspirations of the Venezuelan people," Abrams added.
The U.S. has been supporting Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's National Assembly, who declared himself interim president on Jan. 23 following mass protests over the country’s economic crisis.
But Maduro has staunchly resisted calls from the Guaido and his supporters to cede power, insisting he is a victim of a U.S.-orchestrated coup.
Turkey, Russia, Iran, Cuba, China and Bolivia reiterated their support for Maduro, who vowed to cut all ties with the U.S. following a diplomatic spat.