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Moscow concerned over NATO plans to send more helicopters to Libya

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Russia is concerned by alleged NATO plans to dispatch additional helicopters to Libya, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

Russia is concerned by alleged NATO plans to dispatch additional helicopters to Libya, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The statement follows a stream of criticisms from Russia about a NATO-led military operation to protect civilians in the war-ravaged North African country.

"The delivery of such weaponry, if confirmed, arouses very serious concerns," spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

"The most important task today is not the use of force, something which the international coalition is abusing, but to search for ways to end the bloodshed as soon as possible and start negotiations inside Libya," he added.

Asked whether Moscow regards the delivery of helicopters as a sign of an upcoming NATO ground operation in Libya, Lukashevich said the United States and NATO have assured Russia that they have no such plans.

Fourteen of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo in response to attacks on civilians.

Russia abstained in the UN Security Council vote on the resolution.

MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti)

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