Russian envoy: Libya marks strategic shift for NATO


From the AP:  Russia’s envoy to NATO alleged Friday that the alliance’s war effort in Libya marks a major strategic shift to focusing on securing oil and gas supplies for the West.

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, described its former Cold War rival’s intervention in Libya as legitimate because it was aimed at protecting civilians, but he said Russia believes the underlying reason was access to Libyan oil.

"For Russia, NATO’s operation in Libya indicated that the major interests of the alliance now lay not in Europe’s East – where its adversaries the Warsaw Treaty Pact and the Soviet Union used to be – but in oil-rich lands of Northern Africa and the Middle East," Rogozin said in an email. . . .

Rogozin noted that Moscow would not allow any UN resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria because of fears that it could provide the pretext for an all-out Western military onslaught on that country akin to the bombing campaign against Libya, now in its sixth month. . . .

Rogozin – an outspoken diplomat known for his flamboyant rhetoric – said the Arab Spring is shaking the Muslim world and replacing longtime dictators with "new powers who support radical Islamic politics."

"This is why the intervention of the Western countries into the situation in the Middle East in order to get the hydrocarbons is assessed as a very risky gamble, almost as dangerous as a stroll through a minefield," he said.  (graphic: RIA Novosti)

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