Kremlin doubts Gaddafi’s good will

LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA, BENGHAZI : A smouldering copy of the “green book” written Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi after it was burned by residents of the north-central Libyan town of Benghazi on March 02, 2011. (AFP Photo / Roberto Schmidt)
Moscow is skeptical about Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s readiness for talks to stop the violence in Libya, according to presidential aid Sergey Prikhodko.

­“We do not believe that Gaddafi is ready for talks,” Prikhodko told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. “We only maintain diplomatic relations [with his regime] because of legal reasons, and not political ones,” he added.

The official pointed out that “the main danger in Libya is that, unlike Egypt or Tunisia, there is no political elite there, and the opposition has not put anyone forward to lead a dialogue with.”

From this perspective, he says, the situation is a breeding ground for terrorist threats, and the country risks “fragmentation due to the political vacuum and uncontrolled access to weapons depots.”

Commenting on Russia’s stance in the Security Council, Prikhodko said that “the Kremlin has a balanced view of the situation in Libya.”

“We are not going to applaud military action, but we are not going to blame ourselves either,” the presidential aid explained, adding that Moscow was perfectly aware of the consequences of its abstention in the Security Council vote.

“We should not forget that the main reason [for violence] is Gaddafi’s actions against his own people. So the moral stance of those who fight against him cannot be condemned,” Sergey Prikhodko stressed.

At the same time, Moscow believes that the coalition “has no coordinated plan, and the operation risks taking too much time.”

“Despite what we are told now, we understand that if the air operation does not achieve its goals, a ground operation will inevitably follow,” he concluded.