DEAUVILLE, France May 27 Russia is ready to
mediate in the Libyan crisis following a request from its
partners in the Group of Eight, a senior Russian official told
reporters at the G8 summit in northern France on Friday.
"If the respectful tone that Russia maintains in its
dialogue with the Libyan authorities would help Mr Gaddafi take
the right decision, I think this will become our serious and
significant contribution to the resolution of the grave and
potentially even more dangerous situation for Libya and the
region," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
He also said Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had lost all
legitimacy and should step down: "Colonel Gaddafi has deprived
himself of legitimacy with his actions, we should help him
leave. There are no disagreements about that with G8 partners,
although the tone may differ."
A aide to President Dmitry Medvedev told reporters later
that Russia had partners in the Libyan leader's entourage with
whom it could negotiate his departure.
Other G8 officials have said they are unsure what role
Moscow might play in Libya. European diplomats said there were
signs that Russian officials were apparently in contact with
Libyans, but it was unclear to Western governments what that
involved. (For TAKE A LOOK on the Deauville G8, click on:
(For all stories from Deauville G8, click on: [G8-LEN-RTRS]
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; writing by Jon Boyle; editing
by Alastair Macdonald)