Moscow has refused to recognize the Libyan rebels, a sign that the nation's ties to Moammar Gaddafi are not yet severed.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia will not officially say that the Transitional National Council (TNC) of Libya represents the Libyan people. The Kremlin also condemned the United States and other countries for recognizing the TNC as Libya's legitimate government.

Those who declare recognition stand fully on the side of one political force in a civil war, Lavrov told reporters.

Lavrov did contend that the TNC has a legitimate stake in negotiation talks, should they occur.

If it comes to recognition of the TNC and other opposition groups as a side in the talks, then unconditionally the TNC is such a side. However, if it refers to recognition of the TNC as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people, as the so-called Contact Group stated in Istanbul, we don't share that position, Lavrov said, according to Xinhua.

Russia's NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin also condemned the organization's connection to the rebel forces, saying that its involvement contradicts United Nations and NATO resolutions.

Namely, the air-dropping of arms to [Libyan' rebels by French helicopters is the subject of our very complex talks with them [NATO states], Rogozin told Ekho Moskvy radio station on Sunday.

According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Rogozin insists that Russia will not interfere in the conflict or support either side militarily.

Both the Russian legislation and the legislation of the European Union states ban any supplies of arms to a territory hit by a civil conflict or a civil war, Rogozin said, meaning that Russia will not supply weapons to Gaddafi's forces.

There is also speculation in the international community that Gaddafi will seek asylum in Russia should he be forced from power.

This last question has been answered on more than one occasion -- the answer is negative, Lavrov said to journalists on Monday.

Fighting between Gaddafi's forces and anti-governmental protestors started in February. NATO initiated a no-fly zone in March and has been using air strikes to support the rebel troops. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially recognized the rebel government on Friday, during a news conference in Turkey.