GNU and LNA delegations in Moscow as Russia deepens relations with eastern and western Libya

May 7, 2024 | International actors

On 7 May, the Russian Special Envoy for MENA and Africa, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov, received the Chief of Staff of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Security Units (and son of Khalifa Haftar), Khaled Haftar, in Moscow for talks on the situation in Libya and bilateral cooperation. The talks focused on the task of uniting all national, political and regional forces in order to guarantee Libya’s unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty. The main purpose of Khaled Haftar’s visit to Moscow was to discuss training support for the LNA’s ground forces, especially for Khaled’s own Security Units.

On 12 May, the Russian ambassador to Libya Aydar Aganin emphasized that the Russian military presence in Libya is in coordination with the General Command of the LNA and the House of Representatives (HoR). According to him, everything that happens in Libya by the Russian side is done in coordination with official Libyan authorities, whether in the East or West.

Russia is also ramping up its engagement with western Libya. On 13 May, a delegation led by Presidential Council Deputy Abdullah al-Lafi, including acting Government of National Unity (GNU) Minister of Foreign Affairs al-Taher al-Baour and Libyan Army CoS Muhammed al-Haddad, was received in Moscow by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. During the meeting, Lavrov emphasized his country’s commitment to the unity and stability of Libya, reiterating Moscow’s intentions to open a consulate in Benghazi.

Al-Lafi emphasized the importance of bilateral relations between Libya and Russia and the importance of partnership in a number of specific areas. He emphasized the importance of a positive and constructive role by Russia in favour of the stability of Libya and the importance of Russian support to the work of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC). The two sides agreed to activate several joint committees, strengthen bilateral relations and work on the return of Russian companies to Libya, especially in the hydrocarbon industry and infrastructure sector.