Russia warns against using force in Libya*
Apr 23, 2011
Russia has urged the world community to respect the UN Security Council resolutions on Libya. President Medvedev said as he met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Moscow this week that countries should facilitate a peaceful settlement in Libya and refrain from meddling in the country’s domestic affairs.
President Medvedev is sure that it’s up to Libyans to decide on the country’s further development and that military intervention in Libya runs counter to UN resolutions. All BRICS countries share this position, as became clear during the recent summit in Sanya. Dmitry Medvedev assured Ban Ki-moon that Russia will continue to support the UN on international security and looks at it as the key institute of global development.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov comments.
"President Medvedev reaffirmed Russia’s support for the UN in its efforts to enhance the principles of its activity on the basis of its Charter. UN mandates have to be clear and have to be observed, particularly as regards the use of force."
Meanwhile, the West is about to start a ground operation in Libya. A spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry Christine Fage told reporters that the coalition is planning a military operation to guarantee the security of humanitarian convoys and is doing so at the request of Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of the interim National Council set up by Libyan rebel forces.
Judging by the previous experience, the consequences of a ground operation for the people of Libya can be devastating, to say the least.
Interviewed by a Voice of Russia correspondent, expert Vladimir Sotnikov from the Middle East department at the Institute of Oriental Studies had this to say.
"The United States is unlikely to give the green light for a ground operation, he says. As a result, Washington may clash with those Arab countries which will insist on a ground operation in order to support rebel forces and coalition allies. As the Americans are likely to stall for time, it’s hard to predict what decision the western coalition will take under the circumstances."
Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies Vitaly Naumkin has this to say.
"A ground operation of a limited scale is under way already, he says. A full-scale operation is impossible without the approval of the UN Security Council. Few are ready to vote in favor of such a resolution at the moment."
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned against a ground operation in Libya describing it as a risky move fraught with unpredictable consequences. Russia urges all countries to respect UN Security Council resolutions and the UN mandate which provides for protecting the civilian population by enforcing a no-fly zone, the minister said.
This announcement came the day after Britain, France and Italy signaled readiness to send military advisers to Libya. Even though officials in European capitals assure the world community that these army officers won’t participate in combat operations but will consult Libyans on intelligence and logistics support, they will de facto take part in the war on the side of the opposition, thereby breaching the UN resolution on Libya.