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Russia not to participate in no-fly zone operations in Libya – Medvedev

22 Mar

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers a statement at the presidential residence at Gorki, outside Moscow, March 21, 2011. Photo : REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

GORKI, RUSSIA, March 22, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / ITAR TASS) — Russia will not participate in any operations in regard to the no-fly zone in Libya, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday, Russian News Agency ITAR TASS reported on Monday (21/3/2011).

“We will not participate in any of the no-fly zone operations [in Libya], we will not send any troops, if, God forbid, this operation goes on the ground, which I cannot rule out,” the president said.

Medvedev also said that the international community should consolidate their efforts to end the conflict in Libya through negotiations.

The situation in Libya was caused by the crimes made by the country’s leadership against its own people, Medvedev said.

“Everything that is happening in Libya was caused by the outrageous behavior of the Libyan leadership and the crimes that were committed against its own people. This should not be forgotten, all the rest is the consequence,” he said.

Medvedev said that it is inadmissible to compare the UN resolution on Libya with a medieval crusade call.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier on Monday likened the UN Security Council resolution on Libya to a medieval crusade call.

In response to Putin’s comments, Medvedev said the comparison was “inadmissible.”

“It is absolutely inexcusable to use expressions that in effect lead to a clash of civilizations – such as ‘crusades,’ and so on – that is unacceptable,” Medvedev said.

Otherwise “everything could end up in far worse shape than it is now,” he warned. “It is important to remember this.”

In a rare faceoff with Putin, Medvedev said he stood by Moscow’s decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution on Libya.

“Russia did not exercise [the veto power] for one reason: I do not consider this resolution to be wrong. Moreover, I believe that this resolution generally reflects our understanding of what is going on in Libya,” Medvedev said.

Russia abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and measures to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.  (*)
 
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