MOSCOW, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Russia considers French military operations in Mali legitimate, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Monday.
"In general, French military operation under a request of the Malian authorities lies within international legal frames. We proceed from a belief that such operation is limited and temporary," Interfax news agency quoted Gatilov as saying.
"The French themselves said they were not going to stay in Mali for long. This is a temporary operation," Gatilov said, adding that Moscow had no information that other NATO countries would join the operation in Mali.
France confirmed Friday the air raids by its war planes in Mali to stop rebels from advancing toward the government-held south of the African nation.
The Economic Community of West African States, a bloc comprising 15 countries, has also authorized member states to send troops to support Malian defense forces in their fight against the al-Qaida linked rebels.
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