By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 15 December 2017:
Russia will consider supporting a partial lifting of the arms embargo – but only after the creation of a unified army.
Russia’s ambassador to Libya Ivan Molotkov also said his country was willing to cooperate with numerous countries, including the United States, in an effort to resolve Libya’s various problems.
“So far, we have no confidence in the uncontrolled proliferation of these weapons throughout the country,” he said.
When a unified armed force is established in Libya and the militas were dissolved, he told Sputnik, “then we will be willing to support the issue of lifting or easing restrictions”.
The view has echoed by the Presidency Council’s foreign minister Mohamed Siala who during his visit to Moscow this week told reporters there that “with the absence of a united military institution, weapons purchase will lead to a civil war in Libya”. Siala was in the Russian capita for talks foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
PC head Faiez Serraj has often said he hoped the UN would consider partially easing the arms embargo. Libyan National Army leader Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter and the Beida-based interim government have also been pushing Moscow to ease it.
Molotkov rejected reports that Russia was biased towards Hafter and the LNA, insisting his country remained impartial.
“To speak of our support for Hafter is incorrect because we have repeatedly stated that Russia does not support either side”, Molotkov said.
“Russia does not want to marginalise any of the Libyan players, other than terrorist groups, especially at the expense of the interests of the other participants in the current conflicts between the Libyans, to which the field marshal unquestionably belongs,” he insisted.