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Moscow is opposed to idea of ground operation in Libya — FM

April 11, 2016, 15:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian foreign minister, as well as Vladimir Putin's press secretary have commented on Barack Obama's statement regarding the worst mistake of his presidency

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Scud missile luncher, destroyed by NATO near Sirte, Libya

Scud missile luncher, destroyed by NATO near Sirte, Libya

© AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Libya would not be in such a disastrous situation today if it were not for the NATO adventure, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, answering a TASS question.

"As for the statement by US President Barack Obama to the effect that the US operation in Libya was a mistake not because of the bombings, but that no ground operation followed after the bombings, I guess that he meant that it was necessary to act like in Iraq that was first bombed and then occupied. Or in Afghanistan, which they first bombed and then occupied the key position there," Lavrov said.

Talking about the "worst mistake" of his presidency in an interview with "Fox News Sunday," Obama said: "Probably failing to plan for, the day after, what I think was the right thing to do, in intervening in Libya."

"If you look at the fate of Iraq and Afghanistan after the Americans, without making a single mistake there, have implemented the concept of a ground operation, you can make your own conclusion about the possible end of the Libyan story," he said, "if after the illegal bombings in violation of the UN Security Council resolution an equally illegal invasion of this country would follow."

"Now they continue to talk about the need to bring ground troops into the country, thereby creating the impression that the old mistake is fixed," the Russian foreign minister said. "I would disagree with that."

"I am convinced that without the adventure on which NATO had embarked in violation of UN Security Council resolution, we would not have today such a catastrophic situation in Libya, which is split, where the sides can hardly come to terms and where some external players are trying to take advantage of their internal contradictions," the minister said.

Putin repeatedly stressed that situation in Libya resulted from actions of several countries

 Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday pointed out that Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stressed that the current situation in Libya is the consequence of actions of several countries connected with the military operation and ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

Talking about Barack Obama’s statement, Peskov reminded that Putin "repeatedly expressed regret over consequences of those steps that had been made, meaning the military operation and destroying Gaddafi."

"We see that Libya is, unfortunately, a failed state now," he added noting that the Russian president said "this is the direct consequence of actions of several countries."

Libya is split after popular uprisings in February 2011 led to war that resulted in the overthrow and death of Muammar Gaddafi. There are two centers of power in the country engulfed by a prolonged military conflict - the internationally recognized government in Tobruk and General National Congress based in Tripoli.

The situation in Libya remains tense. Several regions, including in the north of the country, are controlled by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization banned in Russia.

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