Gates' meetings in Russia complicated by Libya

MOSCOW -- Russia's defense minister called for an immediate cease-fire in Libya on Tuesday, telling Defense Secretary Robert Gates that it is the best way to avoid civilian casualties.

Speaking after meeting with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Gates responded that the coalition is already "going to great lengths" to avoid civilian deaths, and he charged that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is lying about claims of casualties.

The Libyan military assault has become a point of contention for the Russians, even triggering a rare dispute between the top two leaders. It was unclear Tuesday what impact that may have on the ongoing military action, but the explosive issue further complicated Gates' meetings with Russian leaders who are already at odds with the U.S. over plans for a missile defense system in Europe.

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