Western allies in breach of UN Libya resolution - Russia's NATO envoy

Arms supplies to Libya by Western countries are a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution on the North African state, Russia's permanent envoy to NATO said on Monday.

"We have information that certain European states are acting more and more on the side of the Libyan rebels. We request a halt to the violation of the UN Security Council resolution, especially its clause imposing an embargo on arms supplies to the conflict zone," envoy Dmitry Rogozin said.

"No one has ever succeeded in extinguishing a fire with kerosene," he added.

"By getting more and more entangled in the Libyan crisis, certain Western states have started speculating about the possibility of a ground operation, which would probably be introduced as an operation to secure humanitarian convoys," Rogozin went on.

Rogozin's comments came after speculation that France is trying to build support for ground campaign in Libya with an EU humanitarian-military mission. However, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has ruled out any military role for the mission.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier warned that any arms supplies or ground operations in Libya would be a breach of the Security Council's resolution.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, paving the way for a military operation against embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, which began two days later. The command of the operation was shifted from a U.S.-led international coalition to NATO in late March.

Despite dozens of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi's forces, government troops have maintained their combat capability and continue to pound poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.

[Source: RIA Novosti, Moscow, 18Apr11]

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