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UN Security Council Votes to Extend Libya Oil Sanctions, Russia Abstains

© AP Photo / Seth WenigRussian ambassador to the United Nations Nebenzia Vassily
Russian ambassador to the United Nations Nebenzia Vassily - Sputnik International
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted on Tuesday evening resolution that extended sanctions on Libya until 30 April 2021 related to the illicit export of crude oil.

The draft, prepared by the United Kingdom, also decided to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts, assisting the implementation of sanctions, until 15 May 2021.

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said he abstained from the vote because the Libyan people should decide themselves on the issue of oil export operations.

"We don't underscore that the natural resources of Libya should be used for the good and should not serve the interests of neighboring states", Nebenzia said, adding that "all questions pertaining to the control of oil infrastructure and export operations should be decided by the Libyans themselves".

In 2014, the UN Security Council passed resolution 2146 prohibiting illicit crude oil exports from Libya and authorized member states to inspect vessels in open waters.

Meanwhile, a diplomatic source said that the UNSC will vote on Wednesday on a revised draft resolution cementing the results of the Berlin conference on the Libyan settlement.

Last week, the Security Council was unable to agree on a draft resolution endorsing the results of the Libya summit after Russia had not agreed on mentioning mercenaries in the document.

"Yes, the vote will likely be held in the afternoon", the source said when asked whether the Security Council will decide on the fate of the new resolution on 12 February.

According to the source, the resolution has undergone a number of revisions, including those concerning the role of the African Union and regional organizations. He added that the structure of the document had been preserved.

A Turkish army tank stationed near the Syrian border, in Suruc, Turkey, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.  - Sputnik International
Turkey Should Stick to Berlin Agreements on Libya, Prevent Proxy War - Italian Lawmaker
On 19 January, the international community undertook a major initiative to advance the Libyan settlement and held an international conference in Berlin that was attended by 16 states and entities, including Turkey, Russia and the United States. A joint communique was adopted at the conference in which the signatories pledged to refrain from assisting their rivals and observe the arms embargo on Libya.

After the ouster and assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country was plunged into a brutal civil war.

Today, Libya is divided between two centers of power — the UN-recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez Sarraj, in the west, and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the country's east.

As Libya remains split between the two rival administrations, the next Berlin conference is expected to take place in mid-March at the level of foreign ministers.

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