Zimbabwe Sanctions Proposal Fails
"President Mugabe is happy to know that the United Nations is still a body where there's equal sovereignty of every member of the United Nations and there are checks and balances within the system that protects the weak from the powerful," Boniface Chidyausiku said in an interview.
Earlier, China and Russia joined Libya, South Africa and Vietnam in opposing the United States draft, which would have imposed an assets freeze and a travel ban on the veteran leader and 13 of his cronies, plus an arms embargo.
UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the veto was incomprehensible. The US said it brought into question Russia's reliability as a G8 partner.
Zimbabwe and its main ally South Africa welcomed the result.
Russia and China defended their stance, saying the situation in Zimbabwe posed no threat to international stability.
The proposed measures had included an arms embargo and a travel ban for President Robert Mugabe and 13 of his key allies.
South Africa has also welcomed the decision not to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said South Africa voted against the draft resolution in accordance with the recent African Union summit's decision to "encourage President Robert Mugabe and the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change to honour their commitment to initiate dialogue with view to promote peace, stability, democracy and reconciliation of the Zimbabwean people".
Sanctions sometimes have the appearance of being more about making those who impose them feel better than making those at whom they are aimed change their minds.
In the case of Zimbabwe, for example, the British and American-led proposal was that the top 14 people in the country's political and security apparatus should not be able to travel abroad and should have their assets abroad frozen. An arms embargo was also proposed.
However, those prepared to use force to maintain their positions are hardly likely to worry about not being able to travel and as long as they have got their money safely back home, they will continue to live well. Arms embargoes are often ineffective.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has criticised the UN Security Council for failing "to stand up for the democratic rights of Zimbabweans".
A Downing Street statement said it was "right to push for a tough Security Council resolution", although Russia and China vetoed the sanctions plan.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband denied the effort was "ill-judged". The government said it could try again.
Proposals included an arms embargo and travel ban on Robert Mugabe and allies.