Putin downplays alleged tiff with Medvedev over Libya

 @Gooch700 on March 22 2011 7:24 PM

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has shrugged off reports that he and President Dmitry Medvedev are split over Russian policy in Libya.

Medvedev had earlier rebuked Putin for describing the United Nations resolution calling for a no-fly zone over Libya as a form of “crusade,” which hearkened back to the Christian crusades in the Middle Ages against Islamic Arabs.

Medvedev complained such language was “unacceptable” in the 21st century.

However, on Tuesday, during a state visit to Slovenia, Putin said he and Medvedev have no disagreements over Russia’s foreign policy and that the two men are close.

If you are interested in whether there is any difference in the way Mr. Medvedev and I approach these events, let me assure you: we are very close, and we understand each other, he told reporters in Ljubljana.

Putin added, however, that Medvedev needs to formulate the country's position in appropriate terms, which suggest his relationship with his president may not be the warmest.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Russia abstained on vote regarding Libya. Putin subsequently criticized the resolution.Tuesday, Putin has expressed his concern about civilian casualties in Libya.

They should think about it and pray for their souls to be saved, he said.

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