Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has said that NATO was exceeding its UN mandate in Libya and called for an urgent move toward a political settlement to the conflict.
Lavrov made the statement after talks with NATO foreign ministers in Berlin.
"Today we see actions that in many cases go beyond the framework set by the Security Council," Lavrov said. "Some are suggesting already that Resolution 1973 could be used for the ground operations as well. The resolution does not allow such actions and the Security Council has not sanctioned such actions."
Lavrov also cautioned against the use of "excessive military force that would lead to further additional casualties among civilians."
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen denied earlier that NATO's air strikes in Libya were beyond the scope of the UN Security Council resolution, which authorized "all necessary measures" to protect Libya's population.
Rasmussen said on April 15 that he had not yet received specific pledges for more aircraft needed for the alliance's Libya mission but that he expected the additional planes soon.
compiled from agency reports