Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called remarks by his prime minister on the intervention in the Libyan conflict “unacceptable.”
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier today said the UN Security Council resolution for military action against Libya was similar to medieval calls for crusades.
Putin said Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi’s government fell short of democracy. But he said that did not justify military intervention.
Speaking to workers at a Russian ballistic-missile factory in Votkinsk, the Russian prime minister called the UN resolution “defective and flawed.”
“It actually resembles medieval calls for crusades when someone called on others to go to a certain place and liberate it,” Putin said.
Putin also charged that interference in other countries’ internal affairs has become a trend in U.S. foreign policy and that events in Libya indicate Russia should strengthen its own defense capabilities.
Medvedev criticized Putin’s choice of words.
“Under no circumstances is it acceptable to use expressions that essentially lead to a clash of civilizations, such as ‘crusades’ and so on. It is unacceptable,” Medvedev said. “Otherwise, everything may end up much worse than what is going on now. Everyone should remember that.”
Medvedev said he considered the UN resolution to be correct, adding if he did not believe the UN-mandated action was the proper way of handling the Libyan crisis he would have ordered the Foreign Ministry to oppose the measure when it was voted on in the Security Council.
Medvedev said Russia would not participate in the coalition campaign in Libya but would act as a mediator if needed. He noted it was unclear now in Libyan “with whom to speak.”