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Russia urges thorough probe into NATO operation in Libya

January 17, 2012, 12:48 UTC+3

“It is needed to have an objective picture of what happened and how the UN Security Council mandate was realized” - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov

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MOSCOW, January 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia urges a thorough investigation into the NATO operation in Libya, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Tuesday.

“We have been drawing the attention of the United Nations Security Council to the consequences of NATO air strikes in terms of the number of victims among Libya’s civilians,” the diplomat said at a news conference at Itar-Tass. “Regrettably, NATO leaders are saying there were no civil victims or that they were accidental and minor. But we know, including from the Western media that NATO air strikes did cause victims and their number was considerably big.”

According to Gatilov, Russia’s representative to the United Nations Security Council Vitaly Churkin “has drawn serious attention to this problem and initiated an investigation involving the NATO command and the United Nations.”

“We were supported by our BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) partners and by a number of other U.N. Security Council member states,” he noted. “As expected, it triggered a most negative reaction from Western members of the U.N. Security Council. They say it is a turned page and there is no point in looking back instead of looking at Libya’s future development.”

“It goes without saying we have nothing against looking at Libya’s future development but we think that what happened in that country as a result of NATO’s air strikes calls for a most serious investigation,” the Russian diplomat stressed. “One needs to have an objective picture of what happened and how the UN Security Council mandate was realized.”

“What NATO did in Libya was far beyond the mandate approved by the U.N. Security Council,” he went on. “That is why we think such a probe is necessary. We and those who share our position on this matter will continue our efforts to keep this subject in the focus of attention. In any case, we think that NATO must report on its air operations in Libya.”

“Hence, we believe that the United Nations Security Council, as a body representing international community, has the right and must react to these actions,” he concluded.

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