LONDON, October 15 (Itar-Tass) - Russia had learnt from Libya's story and stopping Western intervention in Syria was the main achievement of Russian diplomats, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences Vitaliy Naumkin told Itar-Tass.
“We have not seen a more serious international crisis in both regional and global terms than the Syrian stalemate since the Cold War,” Naumkin said. “Syria's crisis is a unique case as all the largest global and Near East powers became involved in it.”
“Syrian events showed the strength of Russian diplomats and its firm position on such a major international issue as the Near East situation," the expert said. "Our country has drawn a valuable lesson from the situation in Libya after we missed the 1973 resolution on Libya that enabled military intervention. We were deceived, and Western countries made direct military intervention under the pretext of enforcing a no-fly zone.”
"Libya ended up destroyed, now in total mess and havoc and thrown decades back despite its oil reserves," Naumkin said. "The West has been trying to turn it into a success story but has failed to do so."
Russia had prevented Western forces repeating this scenario in Syria, the expert said, noting that Russia's president and its foreign ministry had been pro-active and had proved adherence to principles. "Our position on Syria has been due neither to venal interests nor the wish to retain Russia's naval maintenance centre in Tartus as the West was trying to interpret our position but to the philosophy of international relations, adherence to international law and the principle of non-interference in internal affairs," Naumkin said, adding that demonstrating a creative approach to finding a diplomatic settlement was Russia's "great achievement".