Russia has dismissed as "populist" a French proposal to limit the use of the veto at the UN Security Council and said it would oppose it.

France has launched an initiative to persuade the other four Security Council permanent members -- Britain, China, Russia and the United States -- to refrain from using their veto when action is required to address a mass atrocity.

"We are against it," Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters. "We think this is not a workable proposition".

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