Putin blasts Libya mission attacking 'twisted' regime
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday gave a biting critique of the international military mission in Libya, asking the media if all "twisted" regimes should be bombed.
"Mr. Kadhafi has invented a new monarchy, just as Napoleon did after he came to power.... Yes, it's a monarchy, a twisted, shady, abnormal one, anything you want, but that's how it is," he told a news conference during a visit to Copenhagen.
"The internal contradictions morphed into an armed conflict. Why intervene in that conflict? Aren't there any other twisted regimes in the world? Are we going to intervene in internal conflicts everywhere?," he asked.
Putin also blasted a manhunt for Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.
"They say they don't want to eliminate Kadhafi, but why then bomb his palaces? Is it an operation to hunt mice?" he said.
He added that the only effect of the bombings was to kill civilians because "Kadhafi is not there anymore, he beat it a long time ago."
"Now, some of those officials are saying 'yes, we are trying to kill Kadhafi.' Who allowed for that? Were there court proceedings? Who gave themselves the right to execute a man," Russia's strongman premier said.
Putin stressed that the international community should stay within the framework of international law and take care of civilians.
"When the so-called civilised world uses all its might to attack a small country, destroying infrastructure built during generations, I don't know if it's a good thing. I don't like it," he said.
Moscow has increasingly criticised the international coalition for the air strikes on Libya in the past few weeks, saying they have gone beyond the UN mandate.
Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, abstained from voting on Resolution 1973, which allowed its adoption and the onset of the aerial bombing campaign.
Putin was Tuesday on an official visit to Denmark, which is taking part in the international air campaign against Kadhafi's forces.
The small Scandinavian country sent six F-16 jets to the mission.
The Danish participation enjoys broad political and popular support in the country.
© 2011 AFP