Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused NATO countries of turning Libya into a “black hole” of terrorism, weapons smuggling, and drug trafficking. Lavrov argued that the situation in Libya is a direct result of the military campaign launched by France and other NATO members in 2011 to overthrow former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In a recent interview with Russia Today, Lavrov claimed that the NATO-led campaign violated a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution and was aimed at eliminating Gaddafi, who allegedly knew too much about the funding of French presidential campaigns. Lavrov argued that the campaign led to the destruction of Libya and turned the country into a breeding ground for terrorists and other criminal groups.
Lavrov also criticized NATO for its military campaigns in other countries, including Iraq and Syria, which he claimed had also contributed to the destabilisation of Libya and the wider region. In the interview, Lavrov called on the international community to work together to address the crisis in Libya and to prevent the further spread of terrorism and other criminal activities.
The ongoing crisis in Libya has had a devastating impact on the country and the wider region, with ongoing conflict and instability hampering efforts to rebuild the country and establish a functioning government. The accusations made by Lavrov are likely to add to tensions between Russia and NATO over their respective roles in the region.
In March, Mali’s Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop claimed that NATO’s intervention in Libya, and the support of some terrorist groups “contributed to the bolstering and proliferation of terrorism in Mali and the entire Sahel region.”
In an interview with Al-Mayadeen newspaper, Diop added that “groups from the Malian community in Libya benefited from NATO’s intervention, in order to obtain support and assistance.”
He noted that the groups in question “went to northern Mali, and were joined by terrorist organizations, who went on to occupy a third of Mali’s territory.”