U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke by phone on Thursday morning, discussing developments in the Middle East at length, with a particular focus on Libya, the White House said.
President Obama expressed his appreciation for Russia's support for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 and subsequent positive statements that President Medvedev has made regarding the resolution's mandate, according to a statement.
No further details were released about talks on Libya.
U.N. Resolution 1973, passed last week, authorizes the use of military force to protect Libyan civilians under attack by forces backing the Gaddafi regime. A coalition of nations led by Britain, France and the United States began air strikes on Gaddafi's air defenses and ground forces attacking civilians or near rebel-strong holds.
I do not consider this resolution wrong, Medvedev said recently.
Russia abstained from voting on the resolution, along with four other countries including Brazil, China, Germany and India. The resolution passed by a 10-0 vote, with Britain, France and the United States being the most influential countries supporting it.
On the whole it reflects our understanding of what is happening... It was a qualified refusal to veto [it]. We did it conscientiously. Such were my instructions to the Foreign Ministry, he said.
Medvedev also recently rebuked Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has compared the air strikes by Western militaries on Libya to a medieval crusade.
Medvedev called the comments unacceptable.
[U]nder no circumstances is it acceptable to use expressions which essentially lead to a clash of civilizations, such as 'crusade' and so on. It is unacceptable. Otherwise, everything may end up much worse compared to what's going on now. Everyone should remember that.
Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization, establish normalized trade relations with Russia, progress on missile defense and agreed to meet on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in France at the end of May.