It was quite a surprise to hear Russia's apparent change in policy regarding Libya after the meeting of the G8-countries in France on May 27, 2011. But, does it really make sense after the increasingly critical words by Russia towards the abuse of Resolution 1973 by the NATO-countries? What about the position they held with the other BRICS-countries? Somehow it seems very unlikely that Russia would now wholeheartilly support the increased helicopter backed aggression aimed at supporting the NATO-rebels to overthrow the rule of Gaddafi.

Russia has said clearly, together with China, India and Brasil and the African Union for that matter, that they think the NATO-attacks are going far beyond the mandata given by the United Nations Security Council.

After the G8-meeting newspaper headlines were screaming that now Russia is part of the team and they want Gaddafi to step down. Why would Russia change their position so easily? Would Medvedev have been forced by the other mainly  mainly NATO-countries (except for Japan and Russia) to bend?

Or is Russia perhaps playing a strategic game? What they have been given in return is a NATO-backed role in creating a ceasefire in the conflict. Once the Russians are on the ground in Libya talking about a ceasefire they might slowly change the public opinion in the world once they ask NATO to stop their bombing of the Libya in return for peaceful negotations.

As far as we know NATO, they are not inclined to stop until they have their rebels in position in Libya. If the Russians would seriously seek a peace dialogue between the parties and a ceasefire would unfold, valuable time may be won, which could lead to all kinds of interesting developments.

For one, if any party would break the ceasefire they would have to be stopped. This could mean that NATO would have to start bombing their own triggerhappy rebel friends. Another development might be that more Russians and international observers are coming to Libya which is probably disadvantageous for NATO as well, since they might report that there is a lot of support for Gaddafi and a lot of wrath against the NATO-bombings of their country, combined with distrust for the rebels. International observers may discover that indeed many tribeleaders in Libya still support Gaddafi.

Once the bombings stop and Gaddafi is still in the country, NATO and their rebels face the serious possibility of actually losing the support of the public opinion. My guess is that Russia is trying to give in at first, in order to eventually stop the aggression and have the people in Libya decide for themselves what they want, even if that means that they would prefer to hold on to their leader of the Jamahiriya.

Thanks to Júlian Pérez for referring to this article on the site