Medvedev, Putin in rare public clash with Putin over Libya

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 00:32

Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday publicly criticised Prime Minister Vladimir Putin,
terming his remarks likening the use of military force in
Libya to a `call for crusades` as "unacceptable".

In what appeared to be a rare public disagreement
between Russia`s ruling tandem, Medvedev advocated caution in
assessing events in other countries, hours after Putin slammed
the coalition airstrikes in Libya.

"It is unacceptable to use terms that will essentially
lead to a collision of civilisations like `crusades` and the
like. This is unacceptable," Medvedev was quoted as saying by
the Russian ITAR TASS news agency.

Putin had earlier criticised the UN Security Council
resolution on Libya, saying it was akin to "a medieval call
for a crusade".

He said: "The UN Security Council resolution is
certainly faulty and deficient... It allows for an invasion of
a sovereign country".

Russia, along with China, India, Brazil and Germany,
had abstained from voting on the UNSC resolution that
authorised international military action in Libya, but did not
use its veto to defeat it.

Reacting strongly to Putin`s remarks, Medvedev said
his government had "conscientiously" refused to veto the
resolution.

"I do not consider this resolution wrong. On the whole
it reflects our understanding of what is happening... It was a
qualified refusal to veto (it)," Medvedev said commenting on
Russia`s abstention from voting.

"We did it conscientiously. Such were my instructions
to the Foreign Ministry," he said.

US-led coalition military strikes against Gaddafi
began on Saturday after a month-long uprising by rebels in the
North African country.

The western coalition today intensified air and sea
strikes on Libyan defence targets flattening a command centre
of Muammar Gaddafi close to his private residence in Tripoli.

The Arab League, which supported the UNSC move for the
`no fly` zone, has criticised the heavy bombardments by the
western forces, saying several civilians had been killed or
wounded.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 00:32

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