Russia wants more information on Libya no-fly zone

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 10:27 AM
Russia wants more information on Libya no-fly zone

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia wants more information on the Arab League's call for a no-fly zone over Libya and will consider any proposal put before the U.N. Security Council, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"We need to understand specifically what the Arab States want to see," Lavrov said at a news conference with his Dutch counterpart.

He said Arab League leaders had indicated a no-fly zone could be imposed "with some restrictions, primarily with full respect for the sovereignty of Libya and without the use of weaponry to suppress air-defense facilities."

Lavrov said Russia would "closely study" any proposal put before the U.N. Security Council and emphasized that a no-fly zone could not be imposed without the council's approval.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent Security Council member, has said that military intervention in Libya was "unacceptable" but has not ruled out imposing a no-fly zone.

Lavrov's remarks suggested Russia might approve a no-fly zone if its concerns about Libya's sovereignty and the safety of civilians were addressed.

(Reporting by Steve Gutternman; Editing by Amie Ferris-Rotman)