Moscow urges coalition forces in Libya to stay within UN mandate (Update 1)

Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin reiterated calls made by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier on Tuesday for coalition forces involved in a military operation in Libya to operate strictly within the UN mandate.

The UN Security Council resolution 1973, adopted on March 17, imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and measures to protect civilians from Gaddafi’s forces, but stopped short of authorizing ground operations in the North African country.

“We would like [NATO] to implement this resolution without unnecessary ‘creativity,'” Rogozin said after a Russia-NATO council meeting in Brussels. “Russia has the right to expect full transparency in the development of the operation in Libya.”

Russia has been critical of the operation, with Lavrov claiming on Monday that it was at odds with the UN Security Council resolution. Russia was one of five countries to abstain from the vote.

On Sunday, NATO began taking command from the United States of all aerial operations to ensure the no-fly zone and an arms embargo in Libya.

On Saturday, Rogozin said NATO risked being caught up in a war in Libya similar to those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Libyan television has reported that dozens of civilians have been killed and wounded in the strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed. Coalition commanders deny this.


BRUSSELS, March 29 (RIA Novosti) 

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