Russia has abstained from voting on a Security Council resolution seeking to renew an inspection mission on the high seas off the Libyan coast aimed at supporting the UN arms embargo on Libya.

The Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said that his country had hoped that this mechanism would contribute to reducing the illicit trade in arms and promoting a political settlement of the Libyan conflict, "which never happened," as he put it.

He said the EU operation IRINI was ineffective in implementing the arms embargo imposed on Libya, insisting that the Europeans failed in IRIN as they failed before in Operation Sophia.

Nebenzia said that the EU naval operations were marked by a lack of transparency, accusing them of establishing channels to communicate with the team of experts of the Security Council Sanctions Committee without informing the members of this body of such details.

He said the EU maritime activities were characterized by a selective approach to ships flying the flags of certain countries.

The Russian official indicated that in the next 12 months, they would continue to monitor the activities of IRINI in strengthening the implementation of the arms embargo imposed on Libya.