Russia will refuse to give Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shelter should he decide to step down, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
"This last question has been answered on more than one occasion -the answer is negative," Lavrov said when asked by reporters whether Gaddafi could come to Russia.
According to him, Moscow recognizes the Transitional National Council of Libya (TNC) as a negotiating partner, but not as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people. His comments follow Friday's declaration by the Libya Contact Group that Gaddafi's regime had lost its legitimacy.
Meanwhile, Libyan rebels said Monday they had routed most of Gaddafi's militias from the oil town of Brega. "The main body (of Gaddafi's forces) retreated to Ras Lanuf" to the west, a rebel spokesman told Reuters.