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Russia Questions UN Mandate of EU’s New Naval Mission Off Libyan Coast

Russia will monitor the EU’s new naval operation aimed at stopping arms smuggling to Libya to see if it is in line with the UN resolution, the Russian mission to the United Nations said Wednesday.

Russia is concerned that Operation Irini, launched last week, may not comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2292 of June 2016, according to the mission’s press release.

“We will study the activity of ‘Irini’ and see if the operation is subject to a new Security Council mandate. That will be guiding our position when we come to the extension of resolution 2292 in the coming June,” it said.The new operation will focus on inspecting ships off the Libyan coast suspected to be carrying weapons, in violation of the UN arms embargo. It replaces Operation Sophia, a rescue-centered mission criticized for encouraging migration to Europe.

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