Putin: Libya coalition has no right to kill Gaddafi (updated)

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Apr. 26, 2011 18:26
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gestures whilst answering questions from lawmakers after he addressed to the State Duma, the parliament's lower chamber, in Moscow, Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
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COPENHAGEN, April 26 (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sharply criticised the Western coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya on Tuesday and said it has no mandate to kill Muammar Gaddafi.
In a tirade against the West, Putin said the coalition had gone beyond the bounds of U.N. Security Council resolution and taken sides against Gaddafi, whose actions he suggested did not justify foreign interference.

"They said they didn't want to kill Gaddafi. Now some officials say, yes, we are trying to kill Gaddafi," Putin said during a visit to Denmark.

"Who permitted this, was there any trial? Who took on the right to execute this man?"

He called Gaddafi a monarch but said that kind of rule "overall answers to the mentality of the population" in the region.

"Is there a lack of such crooked regimes in the world? What, are we going to intervene in all these conflicts? Look at Africa, look at Somalia. ... Are we we going to bomb everywhere and conduct missile strikes?"

Putin took aim at the March U.N. resolution that authorised military intervention in Libya, which he earlier likened to a "medieval call for crusades," saying it was "a call for everyone to go and do whatever they want."

"They are destroying the country's whole infrastructure, and in fact one of the warring sides is attacking under the cover of aircraft," Putin said at a news conference with his Danish counterpart. At the time Putin compared the U.N. resolution to "a call for a crusade."

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