Libya out of control – Medvedev

Russia’s president said he blames NATO as well as Gaddafi and the rebels for the situation in Libya spiraling out of control, in an interview with Chinese TV ahead of the BRICS summit, where Libya will be discussed among other pressing issues.

­Dmitry Medvedev is to meet his counterparts from the other members of the BRICS group – China, India, Brazil and South Africa – in the southern Chinese city of Sanya.

The world's emerging economies are to discuss the best way to respond to the ongoing situation in Libya, which he described as “already out of control”. In his interview he warned of the real risk of the situation escalating and collapsing.

“Gaddafi does not control the situation because the country is convulsed by civil war, and many of his actions may be qualified as crimes. NATO does not control the situation either, because it does not have a mandate to carry out large-scale operations for obvious reasons,” said Medvedev. “And the no-fly zone operation has acquired very unusual features, because in fact it turned out to be the use of force. However, no result has been obtained, and as far as I understand, everybody has different plans in this regard… The rebels do not control the situation because they do not have enough forces, means or possibilities. The situation has already got out of control and it’s very sad.”

Medvedev also reiterated Russia’s stance on the situation in the North African state, as right from the beginning Russia was pushing for dialogue.

Both Russia and China had the power to veto United Nations Security Council resolutions, but abstained from last month’s vote that authorized the Western coalition’s air strikes on Libya to protect civilians from Gaddafi’s forces. NATO then took command of military operations at the end of March. Russia has criticized the NATO-led campaign for violating the UN resolution by backing one side in a civil war.

The Russian president said Gaddafi and the rebels, as well as NATO forces are to blame for failing to stop the country tearing itself apart.

“One should understand that the viability of the Libyan state itself is now at stake. What will we, I mean the international community and certainly the people of Libya, have – a single Libya or several states governed by puppet governments, and even by nobody or by radicals, extremists? This threat is quite realistic.”

Medvedev insisted that the priority is to bring a ceasefire between the Libyan rebels and Gaddafi’s forces.

In the interview he also covered the issue of the 2012 presidential election.

“I do not rule out the possibility of my running for a second term in the presidential election,” answered Medvedev. “The decision will be taken very shortly since the elections are less than a year away. This decision, however, should be, first, mature and, second, it should take into account the existing social situation, current political environment and, most importantly, the attitude of people,” added the president.