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Russia Urges Peacekeeping Force in Libya, Condemns NATO Strikes

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Russia called for peacekeepers to be deployed in Libya and condemned NATO strikes for violating the United Nations Security Council resolution that authorized military action in the North African state.

"We are increasingly concerned about the unfolding situation in Libya, the continued bloodshed as well as the actions of the coalition, which don't respect UN Security Council resolution No. 1973," Alexander Lukashevich, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told reporters today in Moscow.

Russia will make the "maximum" political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis by "activating the peacekeeping potential of the UN and African Union," Lukashevich said.

Russia has been a vocal critic of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led air campaign that helped the rebels regain the initiative against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's forces. It accused the U.S. and its allies of violating the Security Council vote in March that allowed them to enforce a no-fly zone to protect civilians. Russia abstained from the vote.

Article ©2011 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; article first appeared at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-20/russia-urges-peacekeeping-force-in-libya-condemns-nato-strikes.html

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