Connect with us

EU

#Libya crisis: A view from #Moscow

SHARE:

Published

on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The crisis in Libya, according to official statements from Moscow, is a direct consequence of the illegal military operation conducted by the US and its NATO allies in gross violation to the UN principles in 2011. After the overthrow and murder of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country ceased to function as a single state. Now Libya is ruled by dual power. In the East, the Parliament is elected by the people, and in the West, in the capital Tripoli there is the so called Government of national accord, formed with the support of the UN and the European Union, led by Fayez Sarraj. The authorities in the Eastern part of the country operate independently of Tripoli and cooperate with the Libyan national army led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who has not stopped trying to capture Tripoli since April 2019, writes Moscow correspondent Alex Ivanov.

Military operations have been going on in Libya for many years with varying success. However, so far, neither side can boast of significant achievements. As it’s known, recently the warring parties have been supported by external players. Turkey has sided with the Government of national accord by deploying a large military contingent and weapons in the Tripoli area. On the other hand, Marshal Haftar is supported by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who supply the armed forces with military equipment, mainly Russian-made. There are also numerous reports about private military companies from Russia participating on the side of Haftar's army. At the same time the Russian side at an official state level denies any involvement into Libyan confrontation.

According to Russian foreign ministry statements, “Russia opposed the NATO adventure in Libya and is not involved in the collapse of this country”.

Advertisement

Nevertheless, since the beginning of the dramatic events in Libya, Moscow has taken active steps to normalize the situation both within the framework of multilateral formats under the auspices of the UN and on a bilateral basis. Moscow is seeking to maintain constructive contacts with all Libyan sides, convince them of the futility of attempts to solve existing conflicts by military means, pushing for dialogue and compromise.

As it is said in the MFA statements, the Russian side during the meetings with both sides of conflict, stressed the importance of an early cessation of hostilities and the organization of an inclusive dialogue with the participation of all leading Libyan political forces and social movements. In this context, Moscow expressed its support in principle for the initiative of A. Saleh, president of the chamber of deputies of Libya, dated 23 April this year, which creates a basis for establishing inter-Libyan negotiations in order to work out compromise solutions to existing problems and form unified state authorities in the country.

The Russian side also stands for consolidating international efforts in support of the Libyan settlement under the UN aegis, based on the decisions of the International conference on Libya held in Berlin on January 19, 2020, and UN security Council resolution 2510. In this context, the appointment of a new special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya to replace G. Salame, who resigned on March 1, was particularly relevant.

Advertisement

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) also confirmed more than once the readiness of Russian economic operators to resume their activities in Libya after the normalization of the military and political situation there.

Many analysts both in Russia and in Europe confirm that official Washington prefers to stay away from the Libyan crisis. Once taking part in the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, the Americans seemed to lose interest in this region. However, observers believe that America is just waiting for the right moment to indicate its interests. It is clear to everyone that America has the necessary technology, equipment, and capital to launch most of the energy projects in this region.

As for Turkey's involvement in the intra-Libyan conflict, analysts believe that there is a specific economic interest behind this in terms of establishing control over gas routes in the Mediterranean. If Turkey manages to gain a foothold in Libya, most of the Mediterranean sea will be under the control of the two countries, which will give Ankara leverage to control gas projects on the sea shale in Israel, Cyprus and other places.

So, what about Russia regarding the situation in Libya? Official Moscow seems very active in trying to establish an inter-Libyan dialogue, including with international participation. Over the past two years, Moscow has often been the venue of meetings and negotiations between representatives of Tripoli and Marshal Haftar. Russia took part with great enthusiasm in an international conference in Berlin on the Libyan crisis in January 2020. However, the issue of reconciliation of the parties or a simple cease-fire remains open. The recent success of the Government of national accord, whose forces managed to push Haftar's forces away from Tripoli, including through the participation of the Turkish military, has again inspired one of the parties with confidence in the possibility of a military solution to the conflict.

Marshal Haftar recently visited Egypt, where his ally President al-Sisi decided to help him stabilize the unfavorable situation. The result was a Cairo initiative to cease fire throughout Libya, starting on June 8. The initiative was also supported by Moscow, which called on Tripoli to "promptly respond" to the proposals made from Cairo. Russian Deputy foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Moscow considers the Cairo initiative on Libya as “a basis for starting a serious political process”.

However, Tripoli's reaction was categorically negative. They said that “Libya does not need additional initiatives”. Khaled al-Mishri, the head of The Supreme state Council, which operates jointly with the Government of national accord, said that the commander of the Libyan national army, Khalifa Haftar, "must surrender and face a military tribunal".

Unfortunately, this stance of Tripoli was absolutely predictable, first of all, taking into account recent military successes in the confrontation with Haftar's army. The logic is simple: if you win, why negotiate with the enemy? But, alas, such a logic of behavior is unlikely to ensure long-term success and, moreover, bring peace to a country torn by civil war.

Analytical circles in Russia and abroad are actively discussing the future of Libya in the light of the ongoing war there. Many experts agree that in the near future we can hardly expect a movement towards reconciliation and reunification of the country. Libya is a very specific entity in which inter-clan and inter-tribal relations play a crucial role. Only a really strong and ruthless leader like Gaddafi, who ruled with an iron hand, can bring Libya together.

But there is no such leader in the present-day Libya, so the prospects for peace there remain elusive.

This analysis represents the views of the author. It is part of a wide range of varying opinions publishedby  but not endorsed by EU Reporter.

European Commission

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €231 million in pre-financing to Slovenia

Published

on

The European Commission has disbursed €231 million to Slovenia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's grant allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €2.5 billion in total, consisting of €1.8bn in grants and €705m in loans, over the lifetime of its plan. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU.

The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states. The Slovenian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Cyprus

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €157 million in pre-financing to Cyprus

Published

on

The European Commission has disbursed €157 million to Cyprus in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €1.2 billion in total over the lifetime of its plan, with €1 billion provided in grants and €200m in loans. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80bn in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU. Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states.

The Cypriot plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Belgium

EU Cohesion policy: Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy receive €373 million to support health and social services, SMEs and social inclusion

Published

on

The Commission has granted €373 million to five European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) operational programmes (OPs) in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy to help the countries with coronavirus emergency response and repair in the framework of REACT-EU. In Belgium, the modification of the Wallonia OP will make available an additional €64.8m for the acquisition of medical equipment for health services and innovation.

The funds will support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in developing e-commerce, cybersecurity, websites and online stores, as well as the regional green economy through energy efficiency, protection of the environment, development of smart cities and low-carbon public infrastructures. In Germany, in the Federal State of Hessen, €55.4m will support health-related research infrastructure, diagnostic capacity and innovation in universities and other research institutions as well as research, development and innovation investments in the fields of climate and sustainable development. This amendment will also provide support to SMEs and funds for start-ups through an investment fund.

In Sachsen-Anhalt, €75.7m will facilitate cooperation of SMEs and institutions in research, development and innovation, and provide investments and working capital for micro-enterprises affected by the coronavirus crisis. Moreover, the funds will allow investments in the energy efficiency of enterprises, support digital innovation in SMEs and acquiring digital equipment for schools and cultural institutions. In Italy, the national OP ‘Social Inclusion' will receive €90m to promote the social integration of people experiencing severe material deprivation, homelessness or extreme marginalisation, through ‘Housing First' services that combine the provision of immediate housing with enabling social and employment services.

Advertisement

In Spain, €87m will be added to the ESF OP for Castilla y León to support the self-employed and workers who had their contracts suspended or reduced due to the crisis. The money will also help hard-hit companies avoid layoffs, especially in the tourism sector. Finally, the funds are needed to allow essential social services to continue in a safe way and to ensure educational continuity throughout the pandemic by hiring additional staff.

REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides €50.6bn additional funding (in current prices) to Cohesion policy programmes over the course of 2021 and 2022. Measures focus on supporting labour market resilience, jobs, SMEs and low-income families, as well as setting future-proof foundations for the green and digital transitions and a sustainable socio-economic recovery.

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending