Russia will not let EU search its ships for Syria arms

By REUTERS
July 28, 2012 15:44

MOSCOW - Russia warned on Saturday that it would not cooperate with European Union sanctions requiring EU governments to search vessels suspected of carrying weapons into Syria, a defiant stance that is likely to spark anger in the West.

EU governments agreed the new embargo rules on Monday in an effort to prevent arms from reaching Syria, where 16 months of violence that Western nations blame mostly on the government has killed more than 18,000 people by some estimates.

Russia, which has blocked efforts to threaten the government with UN Security Council sanctions and has criticized Western embargoes, said it does "not intend to take any part in the measures to implement the EU decisions aimed against Syria."

"We ... will not consider appeals and give consent to searches of vessels sailing under the Russian flag, nor to the application of other restrictive measures to them," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.


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