Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NATO Steps it Up in Libya; Russians Irked (Yawn)

Call it the big yawn of the Libya campaign.

Moscow is charging that NATO and the Gulf allies have overstepped the bounds of the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing an air campaign to prevent further killings by forces under orders from Moammar Gadhafi. Russia abstained from voting on the resolution last month.

The Interfax news agency reported overnight that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov opposes more military action against Gadhafi and will not support another UN resolution that would step up the campaign against the Libyan dictator.

The Russian government's latest round of squawking was apparently triggered by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's decision to contribute warplanes to the NATO-led campaign. Until now Italy has played a key support role, including allowing the use of its air bases to launch attacks and surveillance missions.

NATO is planning to increase attacks on Gadhafi's command and control facilities as well as palaces, The New York Times is reporting today.

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