Moscow calls on Ankara, Tripoli to avoid stoking tensions in region

Moscow calls on Ankara, Tripoli to avoid stoking tensions in region

Moscow on Tuesday appeared reserved over a maritime boundaries agreement signed between Turkey and Libya’s internationally-recognized government.

Speaking to reporters, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that a legal evaluation of the memorandum of understanding was not possible until the text has been examined.

“However, we have seen quite a strong reaction to the signing [of the agreement] from a number of Mediterranean states, primarily Greece, Cyprus and Egypt,” she said.

Zakharova said despite assurances from the Turkish Foreign Ministry that the agreement “will not contradict international standards,” Turkey and Libya were accused by Greece and Cyprus of violating the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as their national interests.

Furthermore, Zakharova said a deal between the two countries on security and military cooperation “gave the basis for allegations of Turkey’s attempt to legalize its military support to the government in Tripoli in its confrontation with the Libyan National Army [under the command of Khalifa Haftar], including through an open violation of the arms embargo.”

“We hope that the parties to the aforementioned memoranda will show political prudence and will refrain from actions that could further exacerbate the already difficult situation in Libya and the Mediterranean as a whole,” she said.

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