The UN Security Council on Saturday adopted a unanimous but non-binding resolution calling for the lifting of the siege on several Syrian cities to allow passage of humanitarian aid convoys in the war-torn country.
Russia, with support from China, has blocked three previous resolutions aimed at pressuring the Damascus regime since the crisis began in March 2011, with an estimated 250,000 people across Syria awaiting help.
But Moscow and Beijing, two of the five permanent Security Council members, did not do so this time, sending a strong message to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The resolution was drafted by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg and had the backing of Britain, France and the United States, the other permanent members.
However, some diplomats doubt the effectiveness of the resolution in the absence of automatic sanctions to force Damascus to let aid convoys have access to the hardest-hit areas.