Russia warned on Saturday that it would not cooperate with European Union sanctions requiring EU governments to search vessels suspected of carrying weapons into Syria, a defiant stance that is likely to spark anger in the West.
EU governments agreed the new embargo rules on Monday in an effort to prevent arms from reaching Syria, where 16 months of violence that Western nations blame mostly on the government has killed more than 18,000 people by some estimates.
Russia, which has blocked efforts to threaten the government with U.N. Security Council sanctions and has criticised Western embargoes, said it does "not intend to take any part in the measures to implement the EU decisions aimed against Syria."
"We ... will not consider appeals and give consent to searches of vessels sailing under the Russian flag, nor to the application of other restrictive measures to them," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.
Russia has faced sharp Western criticism over arms deliveries to the Syrian government. President Vladimir Putin said last month that Moscow was not supplying any weapons that could be used in a civil conflict.
A cargo ship Russia said was carrying three repaired helicopters and air defence systems to Syria turned back toward Russia last month when its London-based insurance company withdrew coverage.
Russian officials subsequently said the cargo ship's Curacao flag would be replaced by a Russian one and the vessel was initially reported to have headed toward Syria again, but Russia's Interfax news agency reported last week that the helicopters had been off-loaded in Russia.
In January, sources in Russia and Cyprus said a Russian-operated ship carrying ammunition reached Syria after being temporarily halted during a refuelling stop in Cyprus.
Talks resume between India and Pakistan after being suspended over row last year
Libya's internationally-recognized House of Representatives suspended its participation in the talks last month following deadly suicide attacks in the eastern Qubbah city
A North Carolina district attorney will seek death penalty against man charged in murder of three Muslim students
Badr Eid, the brother of former Lebanese lawmaker Ali Eid, was shot in the head
UN Special Envoy to Libya Bernadino Leon told a delegation representing the General National Congress that the talks will start in Morocco on Thursday
Army troops were put on high alert Monday after heavy rains lashed several parts of Pakistan, killing eight people...
Increasing military budget would be wrong answer to current crises, says main opposition Left Party.
Jens Stoltenberg condemns assassination of the Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov and calls for independent probe
Paris facing challenges in seeking to cut its deficit without raising taxes, economists tell Anadolu Agency.
Algerian lawmakers expressed opposition to shale gas bill while protestors clashed with police leaving 40 policeman injured
Scientists have established that deforestation cause monsoon rains to drift south cutting rainfall in India significantly.
U.S. diplomats in Caracas could not give any information about the pilot, or say whether Maduro was referring to any Americans other than the missionaries.
Netanyahu has called his mission to the USA one of historic importance, and fears for Israel.
War court judge orders the overseer of the Guantanamo cases to be replaced after he exercised "unlawful influence"