MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The second stage of the EU naval mission to break up human smuggler networks does not imply destroying traffickers' ships, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday.
"Phase two, let me clarify it very clearly… does not mean bombing the boats. Not at all. We are not crazy. It means simply arresting, stopping the traffickers that in most cases travel in separate boats not with the migrants and not with the refugees, giving them to the justice and seizing the boats they are using," Mogherini said in a keynote speech at the European Parliament on human rights in the context of migration in the Mediterranean.
The beginning of the new phase of the operation is reportedly scheduled for October.
The International Organization for Migration estimates that 430,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015, with 2,748 dying or going missing en route.