Putin: anti-Libya force reminiscent of Crusades

Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, February 24, 2011.

From the AP:  Russia’s prime minister is strongly criticizing the U.N. resolution allowing international use of force in Libya, saying it reminds him of the Crusades.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also says the military actions against Libya prove that Russia is correct in its drive to strengthen its own defenses.

Putin’s remarks on Monday, reported by Russian news agencies, came as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates began a visit to Russia aimed at easing Moscow’s worries over a proposed NATO missile defense shield in Europe.

Putin’s statements indicated that Russian suspicion of the West and the United States in particular remains strong. Russia abstained in the U.N. Security Council vote on the resolution authorizing force in Libya.

From Reuters: "The resolution is defective and flawed," said Russia’s Putin, whose country did not use its power to veto the resolution at the United Nations. "It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades," Putin added.

UPDATE from the BBC:  Medvedev rejects Putin ‘crusade’ remark over Libya. …

[Russia’s President DmitryMedvedev told Russian news agencies: "Under no circumstances is it acceptable to use expressions which essentially lead to a clash of civilisations, such as ‘crusade’ and so on.

"It is unacceptable. Otherwise, everything may end up much worse compared to what’s going on now."  (photo: Getty)

Image: getty%203%2021%2011%20Vladimir%20Putin.jpg