Bloomberg – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Libya is at risk of total collapse and that his government will consult with China at a summit of emerging- market nations this week on how to respond.
“NATO isn’t in control of the country because they don’t have a mandate to carry out large-scale operations,” Medvedev said in an interview with Chinese state television channel CCTV, according to a transcript posted on the Kremlin website today. “In order to restore order, we have to act in strict accordance with existing international resolutions.”
Russia and China, which both have the power to veto United Nations Security Council resolutions, abstained from last month’s vote that authorized airstrikes by the U.S. and its allies to protect civilians from an offensive by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces. Russia has criticized the NATO-led campaign for violating the UN resolution by backing one side in a civil war.
Medvedev said all possible means must be used to bring about a cease-fire between the Libyan rebels and Qaddafi’s forces. He meets in the southern Chinese city of Sanya on April 14 with his counterparts from China, India, Brazil and South Africa, the other members of the BRICS group.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said in an interview last week that Libya could slide into chaos similar to that in Somalia.
The conflict in Libya pitting the eastern-based opposition against Qaddafi’s regime has become a “tribal war,” Ivanov said.
Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central government since 1991 and has become a breeding ground for pirates who attack shipping. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said March 2 the Obama administration was also concerned that Libya may become a “giant Somalia,” providing a base for al-Qaeda.