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EU has no right to inspect Russian planes, ships bound for Syria - expert

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July 20, 2012, 1:41 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

In this Saturday, June 30, 2012 file photo, Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria speaks during a news conference following the Action Group on Syria meeting in the Palace of Nations, at the United Nations' Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. International envoy Kofi Annan says he has agreed with President Bashar Assad on an approach to end the violence in Syria. Annan did not disclose details, but says he will also discuss it with the country's armed opposition. Annan spoke to reporters in the Syrian capital Monday following a two-hour meeting with Assad in a last-ditch attempt to salvage a peace effort.
© AP

MOSCOW — The European Union's plans to inspect aircraft and ships for violations of the arms embargo imposed on Syria cannot be applied to Russian planes and ships, Roman Pukhov, the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technology, told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

"Only aircraft and ships of the European Union are subject to this requirement. The EU has no international legal right to inspect aircraft and ships belonging to countries that are not its members, including Russia," Pukhov said.

Pukhov was commenting on media reports saying that the EU plans to adopt a resolution in Brussels on Monday to inspect aircraft and ships suspected of violating the arms embargo imposed on Syria.

It is impossible to imagine a situation in which a Russian ship sailing to Syria, whichever cargo it may be carrying, would be stopped and searched, he said.

"This is impossible in terms of law and in the military-technical context. It is absolutely impossible to imagine EU servicemen boarding Russian ships," he said.

Russian-Syrian military-technical cooperation is proceeding in strict compliance with international law, he said. "Syria is not under UN Security Council sanctions. Therefore arms deliveries to the Syrian authorities are not banned," Pukhov said.

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