29 May 2013, 13:33

Russia slams EU’s lifting of Syria arms ban as double-faux pas

Сергей Лавров
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized the European Union for its decision to lift the ban on arms exports to Syrian rebels, saying it was making a double mistake by first introducing the embargo and then refusing to extend it.

He said the arms ban was initially a faux pas, while its lifting would only aggravate the situation in Syria and hinder the planned peace conference.

Mr. Lavrov said the move was highly dubious, since it was illegal under the UN arms trade convention that forbids providing non-government entities with weapons, in particular without the leave of the country’s government.

He stressed the convention was drafted on initiative of the UK and several other EU member states, who also adopted an EU code that prohibits arms exports to non-governmental groups.

To conclude, the Russian foreign minister underscored once again that banning something, which was already illicit under a variety of UN and EU accords, was weird from the start. And the recent abolishment of the embargo didn’t make the situation any better, he added.

Russia urges sincerity in preparing for Syria conference

Russia’s chief of foreign affairs has called on countries preparing the possible Syria peace conference to play fair and abstain from double standards.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he saw “no way out, other than calling a conference,” but stressed “we need to make sure everyone is playing fair and doesn’t relapse in double standards.”

He said it was inadmissible to talk in favour of a peace conference, to support this initiative, while at the same time taking “steps to sabotage this move.”

Voice of Russia, RIA

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