Russia is ready to use practical measures to help resolve the political conflict in Libya, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
Moscow “has repeatedly underlined its readiness to use practical measures for cooperation in the political process; for which contacts were sent not long ago by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and special representatives of the president on the issue of cooperation in North Africa,” Lukashevich said.
The statement comes as NATO stepped up its air strikes against government targets in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. At least 14 rebels were killed as they tried to fight back troops loyal to embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi in Misrata.
The president’s special envoy Mikhail Margelov arrived in Libya on Tuesday where he held talks with leaders of Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council. Russia agreed to be an intermediary between the two sides in Libya, although there were no concrete results of the mediation attempt.
“One such trip is not likely to resolve such a major and complex problem like the Libyan conflict,” a Foreign Ministry official said.
“Russia has always proceeded from the position that the conflict should be resolved by political-diplomatic means without the use of external influence and of course the use of force,” he said.
“We have continually called on, and still call on, all sides in the conflict to comply with [UN] resolutions 1970 and 1973,” he added.
UN Security Council Resolution 1970, passed in February, imposes sanctions on Gaddafi and his family, while Resolution 1973 authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya and the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.
MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti)