Russia warning: Putin lashes out at NATO over Libya chaos after migrant centre attack

The Russian President was quick to hit out at the organisation – which is dominated by Washington’s influence – when talking about how to achieve peace in the war-torn nation. Putin was a harsh critic of NATO’s 2011 campaign which ousted General Muammar Gaddafi and abstained on the UN vote to intervene in Libya. He also claimed that Tripoli would soon fall victim to scores of militants moving into the country from Syria.

His words came as NATO officials are set to enter crunch talks with their Russian counterparts over Moscow’s newly activated nuclear warheads.

Speaking alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin said: “Do you remember who destroyed Libya? It was a NATO decision.

“It was European aircraft that bombed Libya. What we see is chaos and fighting between various armed groups.”

Libya has been locked in a second civil war since 2014, with the UN-backed government in Tripoli coming under heavy pressure from various militias.

Wednesday saw a shocking attack from rogue General Haftar on a migrant centre which killed up to 120 people.

Russia was among those calling for a ceasefire during an emergency UN Security Council meeting yesterday – but it was stopped by the US.

Calling on Western nations to deepen their diplomatic role in Libya, Putin added: “I do not think that Russia needs to be the main contributor to a resolution of the conflict.

“Let’s ask those who created the problem.”

In a chilling warning to the UN, he claimed that terrorists and militants currently residing in Idlib, Syria will move to Libya in their numbers.

He labelled the situation as “very threatening” to the remaining integrity of any Libyan institutions that still function.

Putin has backed the Tobruk-based government, which includes General Haftar, instead of the UN-supported one in Tripoli.

Russia has received the General on several occasions to discuss weapons contracts but has also called for peace in the region and pledges to help rebuild Libya once a political solution is acheived.

Putin said: “We need to work with our EU friends to maintain a dialogue with all parties in Libya in order to help the Libyan people restore the functioning of their institutes.”

March 2011 saw a multi-state NATO coalition bombard the waning Gaddafi government, with American and British forces firing over 110 deadly Tomahwak cruise missiles at the outset.

NATO forces neutralised almost 6,000 military targets in a seven-month long campaign which led to Gaddafi’s death.

With a power vacuum present, no one party was able to take charge of the situation and a second civil war began in 2014.

The Russian President continued his diplomatic tone as he urged the US and ally China to reconcile their economic relations.

He said the global economy would be jeapordised if a trade deal wasn’t reached soon.

He added: “The entire global economy will be hurt, with global trade being down by 17% by 2024 and global GDP down by 2%.

“We would like them to reach an agreement that would be beneficial to both of them.”