MOSCOW, May 29 (Itar-Tass) - The declaration of an embargo on supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition was originally a dubious step and its cancellation will complicate the situation and create hindrances to convening an international conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in the wake of the EU’s decision not to prolong the ban on weapons supplies to the Syrian opposition.
“From the very beginning of this conflict we have repeatedly warned of the risk it may go international, but the flow of militants kept growing steadily from outside the country, including Libya, other North African countries, the Middle East, Europe and other regions,” Lavrov said. “Also, the flow of weapons to the militants increased, although providing weapons to non-government actors is illegitimate by international law.” In that connection he recalled a decision by the EU foreign ministers against prolonging the embargo on supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition.
“This poses rather serious questions. Firstly, under international law arms supplies to non-government actors are illegitimate. The international arms treaty the United Nations coordinated just recently - it was initiated by a number of EU member-states, including Britain - says, too, that arms supplies to non-government actors are impermissible, at least without the consent of the countries in whose territory those actors are present. Incidentally, the EU has an effective code of conduct in the sphere of arms export. That code imposes a direct ban on such supplies.”