Russian president signs decree backing U.N. resolution against Libya

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree Friday backing the U.N. Security Council resolution that authorized international military action in Libya, the presidential press service said.

Russia abstained from voting on UNSC Resolution 1973, which imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and tightened sanctions on the North African country, when the measure was presented in March.

According to a decree posted on the Kremlin's website, Russia has agreed to ban all flights to Libya in Russian air space with the exception of flights for humanitarian purposes or for making an emergency landing.

Moreover, Russian military ships are allowed to inspect vessels in the open sea going to or from Libya, provided Russia has information about the military use of the vessels.

The decree also bans all financial operations involving the assets of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family.

It was not immediately clear why Medvedev signed the decree five months after Resolution 1973 was passed.

Russia has been critical of NATO-led military operations in Libya, calling for a peaceful and political solution to the crisis.

[Source: Xinhua, Moscow, 12Aug11]

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