NewsRussian warships dock in Tobruk, bolstering Haftar's forces

Russian warships dock in Tobruk, bolstering Haftar's forces

Russian ships arrived at the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya.
Russian ships arrived at the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya.
Images source: © Facebook
Paweł Buczkowski

20 June 2024 07:18

Russian missile cruiser Varyag and frigate Admiral Shaposhnikov, escorted by two submarines, arrived at the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya, reported the Libyan naval forces cooperating with the regime of General Khalifa Haftar, who opposes the Western-recognised government in Tripoli, on Facebook on Tuesday.

"To strengthen relations between the General Command of the Libyan National Army and the Russian Federation, a group of Russian warships (...) is making a three-day visit to the naval base in Tobruk, following a visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt," reads the statement, which includes several photographs of the ships.

Russia has been striving for years to establish a naval base for its fleet in Tobruk. To this end, it supports Haftar and, according to the Libyan government in Tripoli and the U.S. Department of State, has also begun forming the African Legion in Libya to replace the mercenary forces of the Wagner Group. The first formations are expected to be ready by summer. These forces would be utilised not only in Libya but also in Burkina Faso, Mali, the Central African Republic, and Niger.

Italy is particularly attentive to Russia's actions in Libya, as it would be the closest to a Russian base in Tobruk.

The port in Tobruk's infrastructure leaves much to be desired, "but this should not lead to the assumption that it will take a very long time before a potential base can become operational," the portal adds. It explains that Moscow could establish a naval base in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, a few hundred miles from Suda Bay and Sigonella, two of NATO's most critical bases in the area.

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