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.
- 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.