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Russia says Kadhafi must go

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi must go, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday in Moscow’s strongest call yet for the embattled strongman to stand down.

“Yes, we are ready to admit… he needs to go,” Ryabkov said on the sidelines of the G8 summit at Deauville in northwestern France.

“We believe that Colonel Kadhafi has forfeited legitimacy due to his actions… indeed we need to help him go,” Ryabkov said.

The statement marked a dramatic change of tone for Moscow, which has been critical of UN-sanctioned Western strikes on Kadhafi’s forces as they try to quash a pro-democracy rebellion.