Prospects for Moscow-Libya Cooperation?

True, the Libyan authorities displayed no particular willingness to improve the relationship with Russia for quite some time, at least until the Libyan internecine war entered its active phase.

However, in recent months, a number of Libyan politicians have approached Russian officials proposing official interactions and consideration of potential avenues for trade and economic cooperation. In the course of these contacts, they floated concepts of reinstating the economic contracts lost by Russian companies after Gadhafi’s ouster.

According to Arab sources, the Libyans suggested an official visit to Moscow by Abdullah al-Thani, the head of Libya’s internationally supported government.

In his recent contacts with Al-Monitor, a high-profile representative of a secular political group wishing to remain anonymous stated that Libya’s disintegration had de facto handed power over to armed militia mafias controlling the nation’s key source of revenues, i.e., oil, and run by numerous criminals released from prisons.

The crux of the nation’s problems is the rampant militias, rather than a confrontation between the so-called liberals and Islamists, between federalists and unitary government proponents, or between the self-proclaimed General National Congress (GNC) and the Council of Deputies.

Our source claimed that, with a vested interest in maintaining chaos, militia leaders bankroll army units deployed in areas under their control, and the military has thus been removed from taking part in protecting the nation’s security.

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