Russia warns EU not to lift Syria arms ban

By REUTERS
April 22, 2013 13:54

 
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MOSCOW - Russia warned the European Union on Monday not to lift an arms embargo that has prevented weapons supplies to Syrian rebels, despite British and French lobbying.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday that EU foreign ministers, who last month rejected a Franco-British proposal to ease the ban, would in coming weeks discuss the question again.

Russia, which says it is continuing to implement weapons contracts with Syria but is no longer delivering arms that could be used in the civil conflict, has vehemently opposed any supplies of weapons to President Bashar Assad's opponents.

Lavrov said an embargo was unnecessary in the first place because such supplies were prohibited by international law.

If the embargo is removed, "the international obligations of the EU countries, which prohibit supplies of arms and ammunition to non-government actors, are not going anywhere", he said at a news briefing after talks with his Guinean counterpart.

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