Why Russia Didn’t Use Veto for Libya?

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Vladimir putin, prime minister of russia, veto voting
Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia (Flickr)

Russia which has a significant interest in Libya kept itself quiet when other countries were voting for passing a resolution to enforce a no-flying zone in Libya.

Just after the west began to use its force in Libya, Russians came up with condemnations and criticizes. At this anyone could get confuse that why Russia didn’t prevent the bill from passing. Russia and China both are permanent members of United Nations Security Council (UNSC)  both have veto power which means they could block anything what they don’t agree.

We can explain veto in simple terms, if members of UNSC decides on something, then that can not be implemented until all the countries having veto powers agree on that. The countries which can do that are US, Russia, China, UK, France. India with few other countries being non permanent member of UNSC doesn’t posses veto power. 

Authorities in Russia says that they were not made clear on what was going to be done in Libya and what would be the objective of the mission. Russia agreed what is happening in Libya is’t good that’s why they wanted to do something for civilians but didn’t know that west will respond with huge force killing those civilians itself. Serving no purpose. Russia and Germany both agreed on this point that they weren’t given enough convincing answers so they decided neither to back out nor to support.

While this is the exact reason which Russia states for not using its veto power, but Russia if it will loose something then will also gain few things with this decision. Knowing that now Gaddafi may eventually fall after this huge operation by western forces, Russia wouldn’t like to loose contracts and deals with the new government which will be forming in Libya by helping Gaddafi. Thus, Russia can maintain ties with Libya intact.

In the Image above is the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who has also served as President of Russia for two consecutive terms, is responsible for bringing back the much power and respect today Russia has which it had lost after the collapse of Soviet Union. 

After a retreat from Afghanistan and being a victim of Islamic militants of Chechnya, Russia wouldn’t like to mess with another Islamic country which could raise general anger among Muslims around the world against Russia. Till now Arab league is also backing western strikes, but now that Gaddafi is calling all Islamic countries to help him fight against west, we don’t know who are actually going to help America and who are going to help Gaddafi.

Read  EU Enlargement: Security Considerations

Russia had this opportunity to come again in world decision making and policy setting group, but couldn’t do much as it is not ready to take any risk right now when its economy and relations with west are improving. This is true since the fall of Soviet Union, western powers are doing just what they want and attack anyone. Iran, Iraq, Libya, were safe during Soviet Union’s period.

Today’s Russia is not what Soviet Union was, and it requires to build a platform once again to regain that image which it had that time.

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.
  • Jon Paolo

    Very true!! Russia is playing double game

  • Nice Article, Yes we don’t want to take risk when things are going normal here. We don;t want to take unnecessary steps which create worse situations

  • jmcachia


  • Patrick

    Gaddafi was warming up to the West. He gave up a lot of his weapons. His sons went to UK universities. They all were under the influence of the West at that point. Gaddafi didn’t see it coming that they will attack Libya. There was no point on Russia using veto to save Gaddafi, maybe the Libyan people. Now Libya is just a chaos. Everybody running around with weapons. So this is what happens to any president that warms up to the West and don’t want to follow up with changes. My advise don’t make the same mistake as Gaddafi. It’s a horrible way to end up.