The Kremlin also rebuffed criticism from US President Donald Trump of Russian and Syrian military action in Idlib, saying it was needed to shut down rebel attacks being launched from there.
Russia blocked the United Nations Security Council on Monday from issuing a statement sounding alarm about increasing fighting in and around Syria's Idlib province and the possibility of a humanitarian disaster, a council diplomat said.
The thwarted statement marked the latest in a series of logjams over Syria in the UN's most influential body.
Fighting has raged in Idlib and nearby areas in north-west Syria since regime troops started pushing into the enclave on April 30, trying to retake the country's last opposition and rebel-held enclave after eight years of civil war.
The UN says an estimated three million people are caught in the crossfire.
More than 200,000 people have fled since strikes began in April, according to the UN.
The Kremlin also rebuffed criticism from US President Donald Trump of Russian and Syrian regime military action in Idlib, saying on Monday it was needed to shut down rebel attacks being launched from there.
Trump on Sunday urged Russian and Syrian forces to stop bombing Idlib, following a Friday Kremlin statement that signalled Moscow would continue to back a month-long Syrian government offensive there.
The assault has raised fears of a humanitarian crisis as Syrians displaced by the fighting seek shelter at the Turkish border.
Wheat and crops on fire
The UN said on Tuesday that thousands of acres of wheat and other crops in north-west Syria have been set on fire in a campaign that has turned food supplies in a "weapon of war" and forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee.
Satellite images released by campaigners last week showed fields, orchards and olive groves burning in the region where Syria's Russia-backed army has been assaulting opposition and rebel fighters.
Both sides in the fight had blamed each other for the destruction, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) said.
"The latest outbreak in violence in Idlib and north Hama has left dozens of casualties, burned several thousand acres of vital crops and farmland and forced at least 300,000 people to flee their homes," WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said.
"Crops such as barley, wheat and vegetables have been destroyed. Destruction to farmland and the agricultural sector is unacceptable," he told a news briefing in Geneva.
Farmers had not been able to get to their fields or tend to their remaining crops during the harvest season, as the warring sides vied for control and territory, Verhoosel said.
"The most important thing for us, it is not acceptable to take one more time the civilian population hostage, to basically use food, distribution of food as a weapon of war," he added.
Potential for greater catastrophe
After multiple briefings last week on Idlib, Belgium, Kuwait and Germany proposed that the UN Security Council express concern about attacks on civilians and assaults by extremist groups as well as the potential for humanitarian catastrophe if a full-scale military operation unfolds, according to a draft seen by The Associated Press.
It called for humanitarian access, safe return for refugees and for following international humanitarian law on protecting civilians.
"It was really simple," Kuwaiti Ambassador Mansour Al Otaibi said when asked about the proposal at an unrelated news conference.
But key Syrian ally Russia objected Monday to the proposed statement, said a diplomat, who agreed to tell about the private discussions only if not quoted by name.
Russia's UN mission didn't immediately respond to an inquiry about the proposed statement.
The Security Council has struggled to speak with one voice on Syria in recent years. In one notable example, a 2017 Russian veto put an end to an initiative that determined accountability for chemical attacks in Syria. That effort was run jointly by the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
At points, the US has accused Russia, a close Syrian ally, of using its veto-wielding seat to stop the council from taking important steps to stanch the violence and suffering in Syria.
Russia, in turn, has said its critics are trying to score rhetorical points while it has made concrete efforts, such as joining with Turkey to broker an Idlib ceasefire in September.
Russia and Syria, which is not a council member, say Damascus is doing what is needed to fight terrorists.
In a recent sign of the council's divide on the issue, 11 council members, including Germany, Kuwait, Belgium and the US, issued a statement last month that also expressed concern about the intensifying hostilities around Idlib and the potential for humanitarian catastrophe.
Four council members — Russia, China, South Africa and Indonesia — didn't join in supporting that statement.
Mansour, whose country holds the council's rotating presidency this month, said Monday that members would continue discussions.