UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia on Wednesday blocked a UN Security Council effort to denounce the Syrian government’s air strikes on rebels in the city of Aleppo with Scud missiles and barrel bombs that have killed some 700 civilians.

The British-sponsored draft press statement would not have been enforceable but it could have been a building block toward a later resolution.

A UN diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were private, said Russia introduced amendments that watered it down so it had no meaningful impact on the situation in Aleppo. Britain could no longer support the draft language.

Consensus agreement among the 15 Security Council members is required for adoption, so the draft was effectively killed.

Russia, Syria’s key council ally, halted a similar American-sponsored draft statement in December that singled out Syria for condemnation, by loading it up with so many amendments that the U.S. Mission could no longer support it.

The draft statement would also have condemned violence by all parties in the Syrian conflict.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.