MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Western forces should cease violating the United Nations Security Council resolution on Libya and maintain the embargo on arms supplies to the conflict zone, Russia’s permanent envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Monday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier warned that weapons supplies and ground operations in Libya, regardless of reasons or causes, would be a breach of the Security Council’s resolution.
“More and more European states are declaring support for the Libyan rebels. We request to stop violating the UN Security Council resolution, especially its clause imposing an embargo on arms supplies to the conflict zone,” he said. “No one has ever succeeded in extinguishing a fire with kerosene.”
“Getting more and more entangled in the Libyan crisis, certain Western states have started speculating about the possibility of a ground operation, which would probably be introduced as an operation to secure humanitarian convoys,” Rogozin said.
The statement comes in the wake of recent rumors that France was pushing EU countries to the ground campaign in Libya by sending an EU humanitarian-military mission to the troubled North African state. However, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has ruled out any military role for the EU humanitarian mission.
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.
Despite dozens of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi’s forces, the government troops maintain their combat capability and continue to pound poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.