The PM-designate of the east-based House of Representatives, Fathi Bashagha, has said there is no truth in the article published by the British Times newspaper on Tuesday.
In an article written in his name, The Times quoted Bashagha as saying that he is ready to work with Britain if the latter needs a partner in Africa to resist Russia, insisting that his government would be the appropriate choice.
However, a day later, the former interior minister denied what was written down, saying that he was "surprised" by the publication.
"I was surprised by an article attributed to me published in the English newspaper The Times.. I hope this grand and respected newspaper inspects accuracy to avoid being involved in publishing false articles," Bashagha wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
According to The Times, Bashagha said he was horrified when he saw Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. "As a Libyan, I know what it is like to see foreign forces enter your country illegally."
"Since 2014, thousands of mercenaries from Wagner, a private military group close to Vladimir Putin, have been in my country, leaving a trail of destruction behind. Putin’s involvement is something that I utterly condemn."
Bashagha allegedly vowed in the publication to get Wagner out of Libya, but he needs Britain's help, which would be an indispensable ally in the fight against foreign mercenaries.
He also -according to The Times- highlighted that Libya has the largest oil reserves in all of Africa, vowing that when oil operations resume, his government will help wean the world off Russian oil. Libyan oil and gas can help compensate for the global shortage and reduce fuel prices in Britain, he was quoted as saying.