Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Moscow's stance on the Libyan conflict on Saturday, stressing that Russia is against putting the blame of the crisis on any side.
"We advocate the position that there should be no attempts to unilaterally appoint the perpetrators. The reason for the Libyan crisis is what NATO members did to this country in 2011. It's been since then that it has become a ruined state, let's call things by their proper names, and turned into a black hole through which terrorists go to the south, along with the illegal smuggling of weapons, and to the north — the flow of illegal migrants", Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
According to Lavrov, Moscow is in contact with all Libyan political factions and is sending each of them the same signals.
"We, like Egypt, are in favour of the Libyans themselves defining their fate, that they begin an inclusive dialogue without any far-fetched dates that some are trying to dictate to them from the outside, and without someone pressuring them against their will", Lavrov stated.
Concluding, the Russian top diplomat underlined that Russia and Egypt both advocate for a diplomatic resolution of conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.
"We talked about the tasks of combating terrorism and extremism and about the existing hotbeds of tension in Africa. Russia and the Arab Republic of Egypt advocate for political, diplomatic and peaceful settlements of all conflicts, which should be based on international law and without any foreign interference. We will continue our coordination", Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
Reacting to Lavrov's statements during the meeting, Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called on all parties to the conflict in Libya to show restraint.
The Russian foreign minister's visit to the Egyptian capital is taking place amid an aggravation of the situation in Libya, where on Thursday the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Marshal Khalifa Haftar, ordered his forces to launch an offensive on Tripoli to "liberate the city from terrorists".
After a series of conflicts that hit Libya after the NATO-backed rebellion and murder of ex-head of state Muammar Gaddafi, there has been no single central government in Libya. The Tobruk-based parliament, elected in 2014 and backed by the Libyan National Army, rules the east of Libya, while the Government of National Accord (GNA), established in 2015, controls Libya's western parts from Tripoli.