Moscow calls for a UN mandate to monitor arms embargo to Libya

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On Wednesday, the Russian Ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, stressed the need to obtain a United Nations mandate to start ‘Operation Irene’, the latest European mission to monitor the arms embargo on Libya and stop the flow of migrants to Europe.

“Russia expects to be informed in case the European Union launches a new operation in the Mediterranean to monitor the arms embargo on Libya after the previous Sofia naval mission,” he said in an interview.

Chizhov added that Libya has now become a divided state and that the European Union has considerable responsibility for this, claiming that “The most difficult thing at present is to reach a political solution.”

The Ambassador noted that all Libyan parties must be involved in a solution and that only a politically negotiated solution can resolve the current crisis.

On January 19th, thirteen states including Russia and the United States came together in Berlin to call for a ceasefire and pledge support for a political solution in Libya. Despite these calls, no ceasefire enforcement mechanism are part of the ‘Operation Irene’ proposal.

In February, EU foreign ministers agreed on launching a new mission in the Mediterranean Sea to monitor the arms embargo, based on previous UN resolutions. The new mission is scheduled to be discussed at the European Union’s foreign ministers meeting, to be held on March 30 via video conference.