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Russia adjusts strategy to evolving Libyan politics

Friday, July 16, 2021

Significance

Haddad's visit, his second in four months, reflects Russia's outreach efforts with the GNU as Libya moves towards elections in December. Moscow is hedging its bets by also engaging with longer-standing partners in the east. A Russian diplomat indicated yesterday that, despite a multilateral commitment to withdraw foreign forces from Libya, Moscow would not do so unless others (meaning Turkey) did so too.

Impacts

  • Russia will try to enhance its diplomatic position, formally weaker than that of Turkey, which Tripoli invited to deploy troops.
  • Moscow has the advantage of no strong ideological preference, unlike the United Arab Emirates.
  • More than many states, Russia's leaders thrive on confusion, multiple local actors and clashing external players.
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