October 22, 2011
As politicians in Western capitals were taking quiet pleasure in the capture and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi yesterday, opinions elsewhere were divided.
In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Geneva Conventions had been breached with the killing of Colonel Gaddafi.
“We have to lean on facts and international laws,” Mr Lavrov said. “They say that a captured participant of an armed conflict should be treated in a certain way. And in any case, a prisoner of war should not be killed.”
Russia has been critical of Nato military action in Libya, saying that it has gone well beyond the stated mission of saving civilian life. The main concern for Moscow now is whether the new Libyan authorities will honour contracts signed by the Gaddafi regime. As well as the oil and arms trade, Russian Railways had secured a £2bn contract to construct a railway line between Sirte and Benghazi. Moscow recognised the National Transitional Council as the official government of Libya last month and said it expected all existing contracts to be honoured.
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