Russian Foreign Ministry Rejects US Claims Over “Moscow’s Destructive Role” in Libya

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Henry Wooster, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East, and Christopher Robinson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, accused Russia of playing a “destructive role” in Libya.

They said that Moscow deliberately “foment[ed] the Libyan conflict” and used “hybrid tactics”, combining military force and disinformation.

However, Moscow underlined its surprise at the remark that it allegedly interferes with Washington’s “peacekeeping efforts” in Libya.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, stated that the United States was directly responsible for the crisis in Libya.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that, in 2011, under the auspices of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, the United States, in conjunction with its NATO allies, launched an armed bombing campaign against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, destroying state institutions and security agencies, as well as destabilizing interregional and tribal relations.

Zakharova added that once the Gaddafi government was toppled, the United States disassociated itself from Libya’s issues and the collective efforts to promote a comprehensive political settlement in the country.

Washington’s passive approach towards preparing and holding the International Conference on Libya held in Berlin is the latest manifestation of this policy, according to Russia.

Zakharova noted that “Russia was against NATO’s reckless venture in Libya”. It has since been taking energetic steps to normalise the situation, both within the multilateral formats of the UN and on a bilateral basis.

She confirmed that Russia maintained constructive contact with all Libyan parties and continues attempts to convince the warring sides to resolve the conflict through dialogue, not by military means.

The spokesperson rejected claims made by the United States, arguing that they were biased accusations against Moscow and disrespected elementary diplomacy.

On December 10 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Washington and proposed holding an expert dialogue with the United States on a range of issues, including reaching a political settlement for the Libyan crisis. The US is yet to give a clear response.