Saturday, May 21, 2011

Russia slams NATO strikes on Libya

NATO says its fighter jets have destroyed eight Libyan warships in the ports of Tripoli, Al Khums and Sirt

Source: Press TV

Russia has once again slammed NATO for its air strikes on Libya, calling for the deployment of international peacekeeping forces to end the violence in the North African country.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Friday that “The actions of the coalition do not respect the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1973”, which authorized the enforcement of a no-fly zone to protect civilians.

Lukashevich said Russia believed NATO's aerial attacks killed civilians and destroyed Libya's infrastructure.

The Russian official also called for resolving the crisis in Libya through diplomatic and political channels “with the help of the peacekeeping potential of the UN and the African Union.”

Lukashevich emphasized that all decisions concerning the situation in Libya should be taken by the UN Security Council.

However, NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said on Saturday that NATO operations have weakened the ability of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's forces to attack civilians.

“We have the momentum -- we will prevent attacks and threats against civilians until the threat is removed. The evidence shows we are doing just that,” Romero said.

NATO military spokesman Wing Commander Mike Bracken also said NATO's campaign has confined the movement of Gaddafi forces and forced the embattled ruler to go into hiding.

The military alliance said on Friday its fighter jets had destroyed eight Libyan warships in the ports of Tripoli, Al Khums and Sirt.

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