Deputy Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) Ahmed Maiteeq did not discuss with the Russian authorities the possibility of Moscow providing military assistance to the country, the head of the Russian contact group on Libya, Lev Dengov, told Sputnik.
“No, this issue was not discussed, since there is an embargo on the supply of weapons to Libya. Russia adheres to international obligations,” Dengov said, commenting on the Maiteeq’s talks with Russian officials in Moscow and Grozny, the Chechen Republic.
The international arms embargo on Libya was extended by one more year this June. Speaking after the vote, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said such measures can prove to be useful as the Libyan crisis remains a source of regional instability.
The arms embargo against Libya will remain in place as long as the country does not have a single army which could ask for the restriction to be lifted, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya Martin Kobler told Sputnik earlier this month.
The head of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said earlier that Russia is ready to supply arms to Libya in the future if the situation there improves, but “we do not have any guarantees that if weapons are supplied to the existing legitimate government in Tobruk, it won’t disperse them to the north of Africa.”
Libya is currently regarded as one of the main footholds of Daesh terrorist group’s expansion in North Africa. The country has been in a state of turmoil since 2011, when a civil war began in the country and its longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. In December 2015, Libya’s rival governments — the Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress — agreed to create the Government of National Accord, to form the Presidency Council and to end the political impasse.