Russia slams NATO targeting of Gaddafi, relatives

Violence in Libya has already claimed thousands of lives.

Last Updated: May 12, 2011, 13:13 PM IST

Moscow: Declaring Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his relatives a legitimate target of NATO attacks is "going overboard", said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

"The coalition is, in effect, openly declaring that its task is regime change [in Libya]. That Gaddafi and his relatives...are a legitimate target. This is over the top," he said in an interview with the Moskovksie Novosti daily to be published Thursday.

He reiterated Moscow`s view that the coalition is supporting only one side in the conflict.
"There is only one way out. An immediate ceasefire, as Russia has already proposed at the Security Council. Then a search for a solution through mediation," he said.

Violence in Libya, which began in mid-February, has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi`s troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO air strikes against them.