Reuters: Russian military worked in Libya
The interlocutor of the agency refused to tell whether these operations were coordinated with the UN.
Several dozen military contractors from Russia worked in Libya in the part of the country that is under the control of the commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar, until February 2017. This was reported to the agency Reuters by the director of the private military company (PMC) of the RSB-Group Oleg Krinitsyn. According to him, the military was sent to East Libya to demine an industrial facility near the city of Benghazi.
The interlocutor of Reuters refused to tell who hired RSB-Group for these purposes. He also did not specify whether these operations were coordinated with the UN. At the same time, Krynitsyn stressed that RSB-Group does not work with the Russian Defense Ministry, but, he said, there were consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Krinitsyn said that Russian military did not take part in hostilities on the territory of Libya. He refused to specify how many soldiers worked in Libya.
According to the head of the RSB-Group, the servicemen of his company encountered Libyan militants. At first they were hostile, but when they learned that mercenaries were from Russia had become more friendly, RBC reported. According to Krinitsyn, the image created by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Syria played a positive role.
Military and government officials of eastern Libya reported that they did not know about the operations conducted by the RSB-Group.
At the end of January, the Western press wrote that Russia had agreed to equip Khalifa Haftar with weapons worth two billion dollars, using Algeria as an intermediary. On February 1, it became known that about 70 wounded soldiers of the Libyan National Army under the command of Khalifa Haftar flew to Moscow for medical treatment.
At the end of November last year Haftar visited Moscow, where, according to the press, he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Haftar also said that he had talks with representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry. Press secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov then said that the Kremlin had not planned a meeting with the Libyan General.
Recall that the UN-backed Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli, is opposed by the Parliament in Tebruk in the east of the country, which is supported by the Khalifa Haftar's army.