Report: Can Russia pressure Europe via Libya?

The Russian-Ukrainian war, which broke out on 24 February, has raised many questions about its possible impact on the situation in Libya, amid fears that the country will return to a state of political conflict amid an escalating crisis.

Al-Ahram website, in its English version, suggested, in an article published on Tuesday, that the Ukraine war would cast a dark shadow on the political, security and economic conditions in Libya, if Moscow took steps to defuse the increasing pressure from the West and the United States’ European allies, through further intervention in the situation in the country. Libya is a source of concern to many European countries with regard to issues of migration, energy and security.

The website stated that Russia is able to sabotage the peace process, which it has always hesitated to support, by disrupting the political, security and economic conditions in Libya, in which Western powers are counting on benefiting from oil and gas production to help replace the shortage resulting from impeding the access of Russian energy supplies to international markets.

The article also emphasized Russia’s work in recent years to renew its ties with many key figures in the former regime, especially by supporting the return of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to the political arena.

The article drew attention to Russia’s ability to break the fragile ceasefire in Libya, and shut down the main economic lines in Libya through the Wagner Paramilitary Group, which includes professional mercenaries and security contractors who play an essential role in providing various forces in Libya.

Russia is expected to push for the replacement of the current UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, and the appointment of a new head of the UN Support Mission in Libya. It is also expected to continue to undermine the current Western political process in Libya, by insisting on a new and more inclusive process, in order to attract supporters of the former regime to key seats at the negotiating table if efforts to push for elections next summer fail.

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