Lavrov: the accusations against Russia in Libya are not supported by any facts

07 September 2020

Media reports that Russia is allegedly using Syria as a springboard for the transfer of weapons and mercenaries to Libya are not supported by any facts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told on Monday at a press conference following a visit to Damascus.

"As for Libya, I want to say again what I have said many times: both in Libya and in other countries - from Africa to Europe and the United States - some accusations are constantly being made against the Russian Federation. We have never been presented with any facts, " he said.

According to Lavrov, the fact that such statements immediately enter the media space without using bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to clarify concerns raises questions about the goals of their authors.

The Minister noted that Russia once supported the introduction of a special resolution of the UN Security Council of an arms embargo against Libya. "We remember how a few months later some European countries publicly, through the mouths of their General staffs, military representatives, did not hesitate to say that they support the extremists against [Muammar] Gaddafi and supply these extremists with weapons, " he said. The Russian Foreign Minister added that the need to comply with the arms embargo was confirmed during the Berlin conference on Libya in January, the results of which were enshrined in another UN Security Council resolution.

On February 26, 2011, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution that provides for the imposition of an arms embargo on Libya.

Lavrov also stressed that Russia supports all initiatives on a ceasefire in Libya and the start of negotiations, and they must be implemented immediately.

"The latest example is the Cairo Declaration and the recent joint initiative of the President of the Parliament in Tobruk, Mr. (Aguila) Saleh and the head of the presidential Council in Tripoli, Mr (Fayez) Sarraj. We actively support these initiatives and consider it necessary to start implementing them immediately, starting with an unconditional, indefinite cease-fire, " Lavrov said at a press conference in Damascus.

The Minister noted that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya, which the parties to the conflict themselves have come to understand over time. He added that Russia has been working with all sides since the beginning of the conflict.

On August 21, the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, Fayez Sarraj, announced an immediate cease-fire and the suspension of all military operations in the country. In a statement, the GNA called for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in March next year, noting that the demilitarization of the cities of Sirte and al-Jufra is required to achieve a ceasefire.

The speaker of the Parliament sitting in Eastern Libya, Aguila Saleh, also made a statement on the same day. He also called for a truce in the country and expressed hope for security in the city of Sirte by the police. The Parliament expressed hope that the truce "will make the city of Sirte the temporary headquarters of the new presidential Council of Libya."

In Libya, the confrontation continues between the GNA of Fayez Sarraj, which controls Tripoli and territories in the West of the country, and the Libyan National Army under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which cooperates with the Parliament sitting in the East. The GNA is supported by Turkey and Qatar, while the LNA is supported by Egypt and the UAE.


GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Based on materials from RIA Novosti, TASS