EU seeks UN approval to seize migrant boats, Russia against destruction

Migrants look on before arriving at the Sicilian harbor of CataniaBy Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Europe is seeking United Nations Security Council approval to seize boats used to traffic migrants across the Mediterranean from Libya, though diplomats said Russia has signaled it would not allow destruction of the vessels. European Union leaders agreed last month to "identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers," but it is unclear how that may be achieved and the 28-nation bloc wants U.N. authorization for its operation. U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a resolution has been drafted by European members of the Security Council – Britain, France, Lithuania and Spain – under Chapter 7 of the U.N. 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 U.N. diplomat.


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