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US State Department Is Concerned By Presence Of Alleged ‘Russian Mercenaries’ At Libya’s Largest Oil Field

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US State Department Is Concerned By Presence Of Alleged 'Russian Mercenaries' At Libya's Largest Oil Field

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The US State Department seems to be very concerned by the supposedly growing Russian influence in Libya. On June 26, the US embassy in Libya even released a statement claiming that it condemns a “foreign-backed campaign to undermine Libya’s energy sector and prevent the resumption of oil production.”

“We share the NOC’s deep concern about the shameful interference of Wagner and other foreign mercenaries against NOC facilities and personnel at the al-Sharara oil field, which constitutes a direct assault against Libya’s sovereignty and prosperity. The Embassy also regrets that Libyan parties have been unable to reach a solution that would lift the needless oil and gas blockade and allow the NOC to resume its vital work across the country on behalf of all Libyans,” the US embassy wrote in a statement.

Allow the NOC to Resume Its Vital Work on Behalf of All LibyansThe Embassy reiterates full U.S. support for the…

Posted by U.S. Embassy Libya on Friday, June 26, 2020

The comment followed a report by the National Oil Corporation, based in Tripoli and thus loyal to the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), that forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) and ‘Russian mercenaries’ entered the Al-Sharara oilfield on June 25. Earlier in 2020, the LNA ordered to block the export of Libyan oil saying that the GNA uses oil revenues to pay Turkey for mercenaries and weapons. The Al-Sharara briefly resumed its work in early June but then was closed once again.

The strong stance of the LNA against using the country’s natural resources to fund the Turkish invasion of Libya demonstrates that its leadership is still committed to its long-pushed project of uniting the country and restoring its sovereignty. This effort faces a strong criticism of the US and some other Western states.

It’s interesting to note that while the US State Department remains a vocal opponent of the Russian presence in the Libyan oil sector (which goes in a close and official cooperation with the local administration), Washington sees nothing wrong with US agressive actions in the Greater Middle East, for example the occupation of Syrian oil fields.

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