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Russia dismisses EU sanctions on Syria

Russia will not participate in the European Union (EU) sanctions against Syria and will not allow the inspection of ships sailing under its flag, an official said.

world Updated: Jul 31, 2012 08:18 IST

Russia will not participate in the European Union (EU) sanctions against Syria and will not allow the inspection of ships sailing under its flag, an official said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said: "We have no intention to take part in any measures in pursuit of the EU decisions aimed against Syria."

"We will not agree to the inspection of ships sailing under the Russian flag or the use of any other restriction measures against them," he said.

Russia totally "rejects unilateral sanctions against Syria", Lukashevich said.

The EU approved a new set of sanctions against Syria, including a tougher arms embargo, in response to the escalating violence in the country.

Foreign ministers of the 27 EU member states agreed to authorise searches of airplanes and ships in EU territorial waters and airspace if they are suspected of carrying arms and other equipment to Syria that could be used by Damascus to crack down on the opposition. The measure reinforces an EU ban on arms deliveries to Syria imposed last May.

The EU ministers also decided to extend the existing EU blacklist of 129 people and 49 companies with links to the Syrian government.

Up to 17,000 people have been killed in clashes between Assad's troops and opposition fighters since the beginning of the conflict 17 months ago, according to UN estimates based on accounts provided by Syrian activists.