06 May Russia Lectures EU on International Law, Threatens to Veto Proposal to Attack Human Traffickers in Libya
Apropos of our guest post earlier this week, it looks like the EU will be stymied in its effort to seek authorization from the UN Security Council to use military force against ships used to traffic desperate migrants out of North Africa (h/t Walter Russell Mead).
“Apprehending human traffickers and arresting these vessels is one thing,” said Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the EU. “But destroying them would be going too far.”He added that the destruction of ships without a court order and the consent of the host country would amount “to a contravention of the existing norms of international law”.
As Helmersen and Ridi argued, there is little if no legal basis for the EU to use military force without UNSC authorization. So Amb. Chizhov is quite right on the law. But there is something striking about being lectured on this subject by Russia, especially in a context where military force seems much more justified than, say, in eastern Ukraine.