Statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russia ships weapons to Libya in violation of the weapons embargo, are fakes without evidence, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
"Washington’s constant fake statements regarding the alleged UN Security Council arms embargo violations towards Libya by Russia are not backed by credible evidence. However, ideological propaganda never needed it in the first place," Zakharova said. "We, on the other hand, are used to work by the rules; we need really convincing facts that would confirm the involvement of Mohammad al-Kani, mentioned by Mr. Pompeo, in his alleged crimes. So we did not block - as Mr. Secretary said - the imposition of international sanctions against this Libyan citizens, but simply made a pause."
The diplomat also commented on Pompeo’s claims that Russia prints fake Libyan currency in order to destabilize the Libyan economy.
"The mentioned notes were legally printed by the Goznak under a contract, signed by Libyan Central Bank Deputy Chairman, and were intended for use across the entirety of Libya. This was to solve the currency deficit in Libya, in order to increase the solvent demand from the Libyan people," Zakharova said. "The circulation of notes was supposed not only to facilitate the stabilization of the economy but also to act as a unifying factor for the Libyan state, shattered and ravaged thanks to our Western partners’ efforts."
She also recalled that it was the US who provoked the destruction of the state and the social and economic structure of Libya, because, in 2011, the NATO countries carried out blatant armed aggression against the North African state.
"Russia, on the contrary, has been actively participating in the international efforts to settle the conflict since its very beginning, and it only acts on various international venues. We reject all allegations that Russia supported the LNA offensive on Tripoli in 2019," Zakharova said. "Immediately after the beginning of this operation, we consecutively tried to convince the sides to return to the negotiations table. It was the ceasefire agreement, achieved at the Russian-Turkish January 8 presidential summit in Istanbul, that laid the foundation for the future truce agreement."
The diplomat, responding to criticism of Russian actions in Syria by Pompeo, drew attention to the fact that it was thanks to Russia in this Middle Eastern country was able to deliver a decisive blow to international terrorism and prevent a repeat of the Libyan scenario of loss of statehood there.
"At present, a cessation of hostilities is being maintained on most of the territory of Syria. We are actively helping the Syrians to solve the urgent problems they are facing. These include promoting a political settlement, restoring national unity, overcoming the post-war devastation, and, finally, the crucial task of returning refugees and internally displaced persons," she added.
Zakharova also called for assisting Syrians in restoring normalcy without imposing additional conditions.
In his statement published Tuesday, Pompeo claimed that Russia "sows chaos" in the Mediterranean. He once again mentioned that Russia’s alleged violation of UN arms embargo, the elusive Wagner private military company, and claimed that Russia allegedly blocked UN Security Council sanctions against al-Kani, accused of violation of human rights and that Russia prints fake Libyan currency in order to destabilize the Libyan economy.
The Russian side has repeatedly denied these accusations. For example, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said previously that US claims of Russia’s allegedly destabilizing "military intervention" in Libya are a hoax. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underscored that allegation of Russia’s arms shipments to Libya are groundless.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Alexander Shcherbak / TASS
Based on materials from TASS