14:02 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Russia doubts ‘success’ of NATO’s Libya operation

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NATO’s assertions that its Libyan operation Unified Protector has saved the lives of countless civilians are wishful thinking, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

NATO’s assertions that its Libyan operation Unified Protector has saved the lives of countless civilians are wishful thinking, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Earlier this week, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen described Unified Protector as great success. "In Libya we and our allies have been remarkably successful - we have saved countless lives and helped the Libyan people take their destiny into their own hands," he said.

“We reject NATO’s dreams that its [military] interference has saved countless lives. It’s all about wishful thinking,” Lavrov said.

NATO launched the operation in March, after the United Nations authorized the use of limited force to protect the civilian population from ongoing clashes between forces loyal to former leader Muammar Gaddafi and rebels seeking his overthrow.

The operation was extended for another 90 days in September. Rasmussen said on Monday NATO will soon complete its mission in Libya.