EU seeks UN approval for seizing boats used for human trafficking

07 May 2015

EurActiv reports that Europe is seeking United Nations Security Council approval to seize vessels used to traffic migrants across the Mediterranean from Libya, though Russia has signaled it would not allow destruction of the vessels.

An anonymus UN's diplomat said that the resolution has been drafted by European members of the Security Council - Britain, France, Lithuania and Spain - under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which allows the use of force.

The draft text would authorize the EU to intervene on the high seas, in Libyan territorial waters and onshore in Libya to seize vessels "to prevent trafficking, smuggling and illegal migration across the Mediterranean," said a senior UN diplomat.

Russia initially appeared supportive of the meseaures, but drew the line at approving destruction of boats. The Russian ambassador to the EU told that his country cannot support going as far as destroying ships without a court order and without consent of the country whose flag flies on the vessel concerned.

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