Russia and NATO have different views of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya, but they share the same stance on the peaceful and political settlement of the conflict in the country, the Russian foreign minister said on Monday.
"We honestly admit that we have no common view with NATO on how this resolution  is being implemented, but I should say that we completely share the position on the undisputable peaceful settlement and transition to the political process," Sergei Lavrov said after the Russia-NATO Council session in the Russian resort city of Sochi.
"The sooner this [political] process begins, the better," Lavrov added at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
The top Russian diplomat also said sending either arms or foreign military instructors to Libya totally contradicts the resolution.
“The arms embargo introduced by the UN Security Council is explicit, it is stated in the resolution and it goes for the whole territory of Libya. Therefore, all arms deliveries are violation of this resolution as well as presence of instructors for passing military knowledge and skills,” Lavrov said.
France dropped arms to support Berber tribal forces in the mountains south-west of Tripoli fighting troops loyal to longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and there are foreign military advisers working with the rebels in their stronghold of Benghazi. Some suspected foreign military specialists have been filmed near the front lines.
Libya has been rocked by fighting between pro- and anti-government forces since mid-February. The international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution and was extended until late September.
UN Security Council Resolution 1970, passed in February, prohibited states from providing any kind of arms to Libya. Resolution 1973, passed a month later, authorized countries "to take all necessary measures" to help protect Libyan civilians.