Russia won't recognize National Transitional Council - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov adjusts his earphones during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in San Salvador (AFP Photo / Getty Images)
The crucial stage of the Libyan conflict could have been reached much earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated at a press conference in San Salvador.

"We have always wanted a quicker outcome, and it could have been faster, but a number of factors prevented this from happening, including Gaddafi’s position,” Lavrov said after talks Monday with his Salvadorian counterpart, Hugo Martinez. “Till the last day, Gaddafi insisted that negotiations were only possible through him.”

NATO’s actions were also an obstacle, the Russian foreign minister stated, pointing out that they far exceeded the mandate handed to the alliance by the UN Security Council.

Lavrov also suggested that political power would soon be in "the hands of rebel forces."

Russia will not recognize the National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate representative, he declared, explaining that such a move would not help matters.

But he said that Russia does recognize the National Transitional Council as a party to the talks.

Russia is prepared to actively promote a political process in Libya, Lavrov stressed.

"Russia is ready to actively promote a political process in Libya, just as in other countries,” he said. “The Russian and Libyan peoples have traditions of friendship, years-long interaction, and we shall continue to act in this vein in the future as well."