May 27, 2019

Russia's Policy in Libya After 2011

Oleksiy Volovych

Despite all the adventurous attempts by the Kremlin to get a foothold in Libya and make that country “pro-Russian”, this will hardly happen in the foreseeable future, as the economic opportunities of the current Russia and its geopolitical weight are much weaker compared to the capabilities of the USSR. On the other hand, Libya is currently the object of geopolitical interests of such influential states as the US, France, Italy, the KSA, the OAE, Qatar and Turkey, with which Russia cannot compete due to its limited financial resources. The only thing that V. Putin can do in Libya is to demonstrate his groundless geopolitical ambitions that are not backed up by real opportunities, mainly to maintain his rather fragile geopolitical reputation, and to hurt as much as possible his competitors, but that is all.

As for the prospects for creation of Russian naval bases in Libya, in our opinion, this is not possible even if Marshal Kh. Haftar, for a period of time, becomes the authoritarian ruler of Libya. By allowing Moscow to create one or two naval bases or a logistics facility, Kh. Hatfar will thus provoke a very sharp reaction from NATO, leading European countries and the United States, without whose financial and technological support the reconstruction of the destroyed during the eight-year-long civilian war of Libya infrastructure will be impossible.

The article is available in Ukrainian