Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed as “unacceptable” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s description of Western-led attacks on Libya as a “crusade,” marking their first public foreign-policy dispute.
Putin, who spoke amid a visit to Russia by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said the UN resolution and resulting allied offensive amounts to a “medieval call for a crusade.”
“It’s unacceptable to use terms that effectively lead to a clash of civilizations like the crusades,” Medvedev said at his residence outside Moscow, without mentioning Putin by name. “Otherwise things could end far worse than what’s happening now.”
The clash came a year before the next presidential election, in which both men have said they may run. Putin criticized last week’s United Nations resolution that authorized military action by the U.S. and its allies.
Medvedev is trying to justify his decision on Libya and Russia failed at the UN meeting by not voting. Medvedev made it clear that he and he alone made the decision and that, as I have said a few days ago could be a future problem…
I know what I hear on the streets of Moscow…
Windows to Russia!
- Medvedev, Putin Clash Over Libya (online.wsj.com)
- Putin and Medvedev spar over Libya (cnn.com)
- Russia’s Medvedev Slams Putin Over ‘Crusade’ Remarks (foxnews.com)
- Medvedev Clashes With Putin as Premier Slams Libya ‘Crusade’ (businessweek.com)
- In Rare Split, Two Leaders in Russia Differ on Libya – New York Times (news.google.com)