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    A picture taken on a boat of Libyan naval forces during a patrol shows a view of buildings, including abandoned Omar Khayyam hotel, in the port district in Libya's second city Benghazi on November 20, 2016

    Reports Alleging Moscow's Military Plans in Libya Unfounded - Contact Group

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK media reports about Russia’s alleged plans to establish a stronghold against the West in Libya represent misinterpretation of Moscow's policy in the country, which only aims to restore economic ties with Tripoli, Lev Dengov, the head of the Russian Contact Group for intra-Libyan settlement, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    On Monday, The Sun tabloid newspaper said that the UK intelligence had warned UK Prime Minister Theresa May of Moscow's alleged plans to send weapons and troops to Libya to turn it into a "new Syria." The news outlet claimed that Russia wanted to take control of migration routes leading to Europe and, by doing this, to increase influence on the West.

    "Facts published in the British newspaper 'The Sun' have nothing to do with reality. As of today, the Russian leadership has set a clear state policy regarding Libya. It comprises specific tasks aimed at restoring economic ties between Russia and Libya. In order to implement it, the country's leadership decided to engage with all parties to the Libyan conflict as well as with the key international actors interested in resolving the conflict such as Italy, France, and some regional states," Dengov stressed.

    He added that such policy had yielded concrete results, which was reflected by a series of visits of representatives of Tripoli, Tobruk and other Libyan regions’ representatives to Russia.

    "It is not the first time that we see reports claiming that the Russian Federation is sided with one of the actors in Libya. Information that Russia supports one party to the conflict does not correspond to reality," Dengov reiterated.

    Libya has been in turmoil since the overthrow of its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country is divided between two governments, with the eastern part controlled by the Libyan National Army and the western part governed by the UN-backed Government of National Accord of Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.

    READ MORE: UK Intel Claims Putin Aims to Make Libya "New Syria" to Pressure West — Reports

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    Tags:
    influence, media reports, ties, economy, Russian Contact Group for intra-Libyan settlement, Lev Dengov, Libya, Russia
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