NATO may be preparing ground operation in Libya - Russian envoy

NATO is likely be preparing a ground operation in Libya, the Russian envoy to the alliance, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Friday.

"I think that now we are witnessing the preparation stage of a ground operation which NATO, or at least some of its members... are ready to begin," Rogozin said.

He also said Russia and France should "clarify" the issue of weapons supplies to Berber tribes in Libya, which France says were for "self-defense" and in line with the UN resolution.

"If direct weapons supplies to rebels indeed take place, they can only be referred to as a serious breach of the UN Security Council resolution," the Russian envoy said.

Libya has been rocked with anti-Gaddafi protests since mid-February. The international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution and was extended until late September.

UN Security Council Resolution 1970, passed in February, prohibited states from providing any kind of arms to Libya. March Resolution 1973 authorized nations "to take all necessary measures" to help protect Libyan civilians.

[Source: RIA Novosti, Moscow, 01Jul11]

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