Putin Sees al-Quathafi Assassination Try and Oil Greed

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[Global: Libya]

Russian prime minister Vladimir V. Putin in blistering comments has accused the Western powers and NATO of trying to kill Libya's Muammar al-Qutahafi and of eyeing the country's oil wealth.

The Russian made his robust attack of the bombing raids on Libya during a visit to Denmark yesterday. Putin was asked to elaborate on his earlier comment that the United Nations no-fly zone resolution amounted to “a medieval call for a crusade.”

“Look at the map of this region, there are monarchies all around,” Putin said. “What do you think they are – Danish-style democracies? No. There are monarchies everywhere, and this basically corresponds with the mentality of the people, as well as long-standing practice.”

“When the so-called civilized community, with all its might, pounces on a small country, and ruins infrastructure that has been built over generations – well, I don’t know, is this good or bad?” Putin continued. “I do not like it.”

Putin denounced the dropping of two guided bombs by NATO on al-Quathadi's compound in Tripoli last week. "What kind of no-fly zone is this if they are striking palaces every night? What do they need to bomb palaces for? To drive out the mice?"

The Russian said NATO's attack on Libya reflected Western greed over the country's oil riches. "Libya has the biggest oil resources in Africa and the fourth largest gas resources," he said. "It raises the question: isn't that the main object of interest to those operating there."

Russia did not veto the UN Security Council resolution 1973 to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Putin's remarks marks a clear rift with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, who could have vetoed the no-fly zone, and perhaps confirms widespread belief that Putin will run for elections next year to regain his job.

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