On June 23, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, adding that Turkey and Egypt are also not interestsed in an forceful scenario of the conflict development.
Lavrov added that all external forces should create conditions for inclusive dialogue between the warring factions in Libya, something that Turkey and Egypt also agreed with, after Lavrov held talks by phone with the foreign ministers of those countries.
In a separate development, the head of the Department of International Organizations at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Pyotr Ilyichev commented on reports about the presence of ‘Russian mercenaries’ in Libya. According to him, most of these reports are based on false or misleading data.
“A lot of information, especially concerning the Russian citizens mentioned in the report, is simply unfounded. People who allegedly were fighting in Libya did not actually leave our country. So-called “wounded” are quite healthy. This is all available in the public space and is again verifiable,” Ilyichev said commeting on the recent report about the supposed involvement of ‘Russian mercenaries’ in the conflict
Official comments of the Russian side go contrary to what the US military claims. According to it, the presence of Russin private military contractors is a destabilizing factor in Libya. The US insists that these contractors fight on the side of the Libyan National Army. At the same time, Washington and Ankara in fact support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which is infamous for cooperation with various al-Qaeda-linked formations.
It should be noted that despite remarks by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the presence of Russian prviate military contractors in Libya is an open secret. However, these forces mostly represent interests of various Russian business groups rather than the Russian state. The scale of this presence is also exaggerated by Western diplomats and media for propaganda purposes.
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