EU plan to buy oil from rebels ‘illegal’, says Syria

Beirut, April 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Syrian authorities have called the European Union’s decision to allow the import of Syrian oil and its derivatives through exclusive transactions with rebels an “illegal” move and “an act of aggression”.

The EU Council Monday eased the 2011 oil embargo on Syria, allowing EU member countries to buy oil from rebel-controlled areas of the country and invest in the energy sector in those regions.

In two letters addressed to the UN Security Council president and the UN secretary general, Syria’s foreign and expatriates ministry said that the EU had resorted to a new step that contradicts the principle of non-interference approved by the UN Charter and international law.

“Neither the EU nor any other party has the right to take any measures that would affect the states’ sovereign rights over their national resources,” the ministry said.

“Accordingly, Syria demands that the Security Council take necessary measures to prevent the implementation of this illegitimate decision that contradicts the rules of international law and the UN Charter,” it said.

Russia has already criticized the EU decision as “counterproductive” and leading to “a deeper deadlock in the internal Syrian dialogue”.

Oil production in Syria has declined almost 60 percent since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in March 2011.

According to the latest US government data, daily output stood at about 153,000 barrels per day in October 2012.

Syrian rebels control most of the oil-rich regions of the country.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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