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Russia reacts with 'regret' to military action in Libya

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russia abstained from the vote on the no-fly zone
  • It urges all sides to seek an end to violence
  • It says "dialogue among Libyans" is the best way to end the crisis

Moscow (CNN) -- Russia reacted "with regret" Saturday to the start of international military action in Libya, and it urged an end to violence on all sides.

It said the United Nations resolution that authorized the use of force had been "hastily adopted."

"We again urge all Libyan sides, as well as the participants of the military operation, to do everything they can to prevent the suffering of innocent civilians and to ensure a speedy cease-fire and an end to violence," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry demanded measures to protect foreign diplomatic missions and their staff in Libya.

"We are still convinced that for a lasting solution to the internal conflict in Libya, ensuring its stable democratic future, it is necessary to immediately stop the bloodshed and initiate a dialogue among Libyans themselves," the ministry said.

Russia abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote Thursday night to impose a no-fly zone in Libya. China, Germany, India and Brazil also abstained.

The other 10 members of the 15-member council voted in favor of the resolution, which allows a U.N.-backed international force to enforce the no-fly zone and launch airstrikes against any Libyan ground forces considered to be a threat against civilians.

CNN's Maxim Tkachenko contributed to this report