Russia pushing for cease-fire in Libya

Representatives of Libya's rebels are in Moscow today to hold talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, less than one week after he hosted members of Gaddafi's government.

The Libyan side was due to be reprsented by Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, a member of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and Tripoli's former UN ambassador.

Russia has stepped up its opposition to military intervention in Libya and is now pushing for a cease-fire.

"We are trying to promote an immediate end to the bloodshed, an immediate end to the military activities," Lavrov told reporters ahead of the meeting, AFP reported. "We are convinced that a ceasefire, reconciliation and dialogue, an agreement ... are unavoidable no matter what. That is how things should end, and the sooner the better."

The Russian foreign ministry has claimed it does not seek to play the role of official mediator in the conflict, AFP notes.

But as this feature from Reuters notes, Russia has a history of «pursuing quiet diplomacy» in some cases, particularly when it aimed to stop the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, an intervention it whole-heartedly opposed.