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Putin Defers To Medvedev On Libya


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his Ljubljana visit on March 22

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his Ljubljana visit on March 22

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said he and President Dmitry Medvedev have "very close views" on the situation in Libya.

Medvedev on March 21 rebuked Putin for comparing Western calls for action on Libya with "crusades," in the sharpest public difference yet between the two ahead of a 2012 election.

Putin told journalists while on a visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia, on March 22 that Medvedev has expressed Russia's official position.

"As for agreement or disagreement among the Russian leadership on what is going on in Libya," Putin said, "it is the Russian president who is in charge of foreign policy and there can be no divergence [of views]."

Earlier, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said his remarks on the UN resolution authorizing armed intervention in Libya were the prime minister's personal opinion.

The apparent disagreement and the dismissal of Moscow's envoy to Libya had sparked speculation of growing tension between Putin and Medvedev.

compiled from agency reports
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