On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, denied all media reports alleging that Russia was using Syria as a foothold to move arms and mercenaries to Libya.
In a press conference with his Syrian counterpart, Walid Al-Muallem in Damascus, Lavrov said, “I would like to reiterate: some allegations are constantly being put forward against Russia, both regarding Libya and other countries, from Africa, Europe, and the US. No facts have ever been presented. The fact that such statements get straight into the media, without employing bilateral, and multilateral mechanisms to clarify concerns, raises questions about their authors’ intent.”
Russia has supported the continued UN arms embargo on Libya, via a special UN Security Council resolution, he recalled. “We remember how, mere months thereafter, certain European countries announced publicly via their General Staffs and military representatives, without any shame, that they support the extremists against [Muammar] Gaddafi, and ship weapons to those extremists,” Lavrov pointed out.
The FM added that the Berlin Conference on Libya, which took place in January, confirmed the necessity of the weapons embargo. The conference’s outcome was cemented in another UN Security Council resolution. The weapons embargo on Libya was introduced by the Security Council on 26 February 2011.