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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow alarmed over NATO's disproportionate use of force in Libya - vice-premier

RIA Novosti

10:22 05/06/2011

SINGAPORE, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow is alarmed over NATO's disproportionate use of force in Libya and the alliance's clear support for one side in the Libyan conflict, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Sunday.

Moscow is concerned "over increasingly frequent disproportionate use of military force in the country where the nature and the parameters of interference from outside have been clearly defined by the UN decisions," Ivanov said.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, paving the way for a military operation against embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi which began two days later. The command of the operation was shifted from a U.S.-led international coalition to NATO in late March.

By supporting the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, Russia proceeded from the fact that it was aimed at strengthening peace and preventing the escalation of the conflict and the death of civilians, he said.

"However, NATO's actions camouflaged by the arbitrary interpretation of the UN Security Council resolution cannot be characterized otherwise than interference in the civil war on the side of one of the conflicting parties," Ivanov said.

"We believe that all the parties to the Libya conflict must settle their disagreements peacefully through a dialog, in which the UN and regional organizations should play their respective role," he said.

The revolt which began in mid-February in Libya against Gaddafi's forty-year rule has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi's troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.

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