The Five Star Movement doesn’t share Salvini’s hard line with regard to closing ports. What risks does the Libyan issue entail for Italy? What role could Russia play in Libya?
Sputnik has spoken to Mirko Molteni, a military expert and commentator for Libero and Analisi Difesа, to find out.
Sputnik: Matteo Salvini, head of Italy's Interior Ministry, advocated the "closed ports" concept, whereas the Five Star Movement seems to have quite a different view on the Libyan crisis issue, as well as on the flow of migrants. Do you think this conflict is due to the approaching European elections?
Nevertheless, the Five Star Movement is opposed to port closures, citing the Constitution and the refugees' right to protection from war. Faced with the issue of possible flows of migrants, we have to properly assess the magnitude of the situation. For example, Fayez al-Sarraj, chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, recently said that about 800,000 Libyan migrants could possibly flow into Europe. Though I think this number is overstated, in any case we wouldn't be able to accept all these people.
Sputnik: Prime Minister Conte and Interior Minister Salvini have also raised concerns about the possible arrival of foreign fighters among the Libyan migrants. How likely is that to happen due to the escalating conflict in Libya?
Sputnik: In your opinion, what role could Russia play in Libya? Could it be a mediator between the two opposing parties?
Mirko Molteni: I believe that Russia could be a diplomatic mediator regarding the Libyan issue. Moscow currently has good relations both with Egypt and with Khalifa Haftar, who is the head of the Libyan Armed Forces. Russia also has good relations with Italy. [Foreign] Minister [Sergei] Lavrov and his team could propose a roadmap for the resolution of the conflict that would lead to a truce and to elections throughout the country.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Mirko Molteni and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.