Leaders of one of two main armed groups in Libya called on the Russian President, Vladimir Putin to intervene in the civil was in the country, reported Radio Liberty.
“Russia and Libya have long-term military relations. All arms of the current Libyan army are Russian. Our military doctrine has also eastern origin… Almost all Libyan officers were trained in Russia. We have military and technical cooperation contracts signed in the recent years which we tried to revive, however, we are confronted with a big problem – UN arms embargo”, stated the spokesman for the self-styled army of Khalifa Haftar in east Libya, Ahmed Al-Mismari.
It is reported that recently, the leader of the group, field marshal Khalifa Haftar has traveled to Moscow several times to meet with the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.
“It’s not the first time when the authorities in Tobruk that are affiliated with the field marshal Haftar tried to gain Moscow’s favor, including receiving military assistance from Russia. In fact, Moscow tends to maintain relations with both sides of the Libyan conflict (two main sides, although there are much more of them) – and the Government of the National Unity in Tripoli, and, accordingly, with Haftar. Although Haftar tries to position himself as an agent of Moscow’s interests in the region. It sometimes leads to misunderstanding in Tripoli – they demand explanations from Moscow after certain statements of Haftar and his administration”, says an independent Middle East Kirill Semenov.
According to the expert, the example of Russian assistance to the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad really impressed Lybian leaders and they want to be able to count on the same help.
“Haftar would like to count on this because he does not have power to reverse the situation in Lybia and to achieve the final victory. The only thing he can count on is external intervention. As we can see in the statement of the representative of the Libyan national army, he complains that various external forces, namely Italy Turkey, Qatar, help enemies in Tripoli” — Semenov believes.