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Updated: March 29, 2011 03:16 IST

Western coalition interfering in Libya civil war: Moscow

Vladimir Radyuhin
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File photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
File photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Moscow has accused the Western coalition of interfering in a civil war in Libya in breach of the United Nations resolution.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said even as Western officials claimed to be protecting civilians, allied aircraft were reported to be bombing Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's forces.

“We think that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially a civil war has not been sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution,” said Mr. Lavrov.

Mr. Lavrov told reporters on Monday that Russia had abstained on Resolution 1973 adopted on March 17 because some of its provisions “allowed for multiple interpretations”.

But he insisted “the resolution set the sole goal of establishing a no-fly zone to protect the civilian population.”

The Russian Foreign Minister called for verifying reports of civilian deaths caused by allied air strikes.

“We have urged the U.N. Secretary-General to send his special representative to check on this information,” he said.

Russia's envoy to NATO warned the alliance could be dragged into a full-scale war in Libya.

“Just as we have forecast, NATO is being drawn deeper and deeper into a war in North Africa,” Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin told the Interfax news agency. He said it would be the alliance's “third war in addition to those in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

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