Russia Does About-Face, Says Gadhafi Must Go

Medvedev affirms at G8 summit as NATO raids intensify
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2011 4:35 PM CDT
Russia Does About-Face, Says Gadhafi Must Go
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a press conference at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, Friday.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The news got even worse for Moammar Gadhafi today: Longtime ally Russia looks to be cutting ties, reports the Guardian. "He should leave," Dmitry Medvedev said at today's G8 summit in France. "I proposed our mediation services to my partners. Everyone thinks that would be useful." Russia strongly opposed NATO's current bombing raid when it began, and the White House is playing up today's shift in attitude as significant, notes Politico.

It may also be in Russia's self-interest, explains AP. With the NATO airstrikes intensifying and Gadhafi seemingly on the ropes, the nation's vast oil and gas markets could soon be in rebel hands. Medvedev said he would send an envoy to Tripoli. "If Gadhafi makes this decision, which will be beneficial for the country and the people of Libya, then it will be possible to discuss the form of his departure, what country may accept him and on what terms, and what he may keep and what he must lose," he said. (More Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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