Syria is not Libya, Russia tells NATO leaders
Brussels: Expressing concern over NATO's possible deployment of surface-to-air Patriot missiles to protect Turkey from potential attacks from neighbouring Syria, Russia Tuesday reminded NATO leaders that they should not view Syria as Libya.
After meeting his NATO counterparts in Brussels, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said: "This stockpiling of armaments is always creating an additional risk that these armaments will be used. We have purely political concern that the conflict is increasingly militarized."
"Syria is not Libya ... We believe that we need to carry out political and diplomatic intervention and pursue negotiations between all the parties that are engaged in bloodshed there," reported Xinhua citing Lavrov who also said the threats against Turkey should not be overstated.
Russia had proposed to set up a communication line in the real time between Turkey and Syria to avoid any escalation, he said.
At the meeting, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen tried to reassure Russia that the Patriots would not be used to implement a no-fly zone in Syria, but was aimed at defending Turkey from Syrian missiles.
"We have all declared that this is a defensive measure only, that we have no offensive intentions. Actually, I do believe the deployment of Patriots missiles will serve as an effective deterrence to de-escalate the situation along the Syria-Turkey border," he said.
Rasmussen said earlier that the military alliance was expected to approve Turkey's request for Patriot missiles, which would be provided by Germany, the Netherland and the US.