Russia worried by 'Western meddling in Libya war'

28th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia on Monday expressed concern over the ultimate aims of the Western air strikes on Libya, saying aiding Libyan rebels was "interference" which had not been sanctioned by the United Nations.

"We see media reports that officials from the countries taking part in the operation say that they are just following the aim of protecting the civilian population," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

"But on the other hand we see reports, and no-one denies them, that coalition forces are bombing (Libyan leader) Moamer Kadhafi's forces in support of the armed rebels," he added.

"Here there is a clear contradiction. We believe that coalition interference in a civil war is not sanctioned by the UN resolution," Lavrov said.

Lavrov's comments imply a concern in Moscow that the ultimate aim of the Western air strikes to enforce a no-fly zone against Kadhafi's forces is to oust the Libyan regime in favour of the rebels.

Russia abstained from the UN resolution that authorised the military action, refraining from using its veto which would have prevented the motion being adopted.

© 2011 AFP

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