MOSCOW, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Russia does not have any military presence in Libya, a senior Russian official said Wednesday.
"There are no(ne of) our military servicemen in Libya and their presence is not planned. How could they be there without official request by the country's authorities?" Alexei Kondratyev, the deputy chair of the Russian upper house's defense committee, was quoted by Sputnik news agency as saying.
The lawmaker made the remarks in response to media reports claiming that Moscow was allegedly plotting to establish a stronghold against the West in Libya.
Kondratyev said the media reports were nothing more than an attempt to "discredit Russia in its fight against terrorism."
On Monday, The Sun reported that British intelligence had warned British Prime Minister Theresa May of Moscow's alleged plans to send weapons and troops to Libya to turn it into a "new Syria" and take control of migration routes to Europe, thus increasing Moscow's influence in the West.
The newspaper also said that two Russian military bases were already operating in Libya's coastal towns of Tobruk and Benghazi and Russian special forces were allegedly training groups in Libya's eastern regions.