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MOSCOW, RUSSIA – FEBRUARY 20, 2020: Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova gives a briefing on the current Russian foreign policy and international relations. Sergei Bobylev/TASS Ðîññèÿ. Ìîñêâà. Îôèöèàëüíûé ïðåäñòàâèòåëü ÌÈÄ Ðîññèè Ìàðèÿ Çàõàðîâà âî âðåìÿ áðèôèíãà ïî òåêóùèì âîïðîñàì âíåøíåé ïîëèòèêè. Ñåðãåé Áîáûëåâ/ÒÀÑÑ

Russia accuses operation IRNI of being biased

After an inspection by Greece and the European Union of a Russian cargo ship off the Libyan coast, Russia criticized the nature of the actions of operation IRNI and the reasons behind the inspection.

The inspection took place on the January 11th by Greek Special Forces from the Hellenic Navy vessel ‘Adrias’, which is the flagship of the EU’s Operation IRINI.

The soldiers boarded the Russian vessel named ‘Adler’ holding Greek and EU flags while members of the crew held a Russian flag.

Maria Zakharova, the Spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Moscow was in contact with Greek authorities to clarify the reasons for the inspections which remain “incomprehensible” to the Russian Federation.

She also added that Neither Russia nor the United Nations had been informed of the inspection carried out by operation IRNI.

“The command of Operation IRINI is obliged to submit to the relevant UN Security Council committee detailed information explaining the reasons for the inspection, the actions are taken to obtain the consent of the flag state of the vessel in question, and the results of such an inspection,” Zakharova said.

“A different approach would testify to the non-transparent nature of IRINI’s activities and the extensive interpretation of the provisions of the UN Security Council resolutions by the EU, in order to realize its own interests in the Mediterranean,” she added.

Operation IRINI was launched to monitor and implement the United Nations arms embargo on Libya.

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