Russia called Thursday for the United Nations Security Council to order an investigation of NATO bombings in Libya in support of anti-Gaddafi forces, which had resulted in civilian deaths, dpa reported.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin clashed with other countries in the 15-nation council by renewing the demand, saying that aerial bombings conducted by NATO from March to October were "very disturbing."
Russia and China publicly denounced NATO for exceeding UN authorization to protect Libyan civilians against Moamer Gaddafi's security forces. Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebel forces in October in his hometown of Sirte.
US Ambassador Susan Rice publicly called Churkin's demand for an investigation a "distraction and diversion" and a "stunt."
"It obscures the success of NATO in Libya," Rice told reporters.
Rice and French Ambassador Gerard Araud said there are two on-going investigations of civilian casualties in Libya by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.
Churkin accused NATO leadership of misleading UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by telling him that there were no civilian deaths during NATO bombings.
Churkin said Moscow will purse the demand for an investigation in order to set standards for future Security Council authorizations for the use of force in a conflicts. In Libya, the council authorized states to use "all necessary means" to protect civilians demanding democracy.