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Russian ambassador sees no progress in development of situation in Libya

Russian ambassador to Libya Ivan Molotkov sees no positive moments in the development of the situation in that country.

"The incident when the country's Prime Minister Ali Zeydan was either arrested or abducted reflects the situation that is now developing in Libya - weak authorities, anarchical violence, despotism of field commanders who control entire regions of the country," he said in an interview with the Russia 24 television channel on Friday.

He said that the incident with the prime minister was absolutely egregious but it was not an exceptional one. "There were other incidents when Libyan top officials were treated so brusquely," he noted. "Several months ago, the car of the parliament speaker came under gunfire, lawmakers were subject to pressure from militants."

Shortly before the incident with the prime minister, he called on the nation for a dialogue and urged tribal groups and political associations to look for ways to build peaceful life after the revolution, the Russian diplomat recalled. "Regrettably, this call has been left hanging," he said. "I think Libya has many years of trouble ahead."

Embassies of foreign states in Libya are still facing threats to their security, Molotkov added.

"There were incidents involving foreign diplomats in Libya - the murder of an American ambassador, a terrorist act at the French embassy, attacks on diplomats. Fortunately, there were no more fatalities, except from the tragic incident with the American ambassador," Molotkov said.

Regarding the version that the recent raid on the Russian diplomatic mission was an act of revenge for the killing of a Libyan army officer by a Russian woman, Molotkov said that this might have been merely a pretext; the matter had deeper roots.

The ambassador has said there should be return [of Russian diplomats evacuated from Libya], but only when security of Russian diplomats is ensured.

"The Libyan side has promised to investigate the matter and to give special attention to security of the Russian diplomatic mission and all other diplomatic missions," he said. "We will wait for them to fulfill the promise," he added.

Molotkov stressed particularly that the closure of the embassy and the rupture of diplomatic relations with Libya were not considered.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said earlier that Moscow would decide on the time of Russian diplomats' return to Libya when acceptable conditions for their work were created.

"The Libyan authorities assured us that the measures of security of the Russian embassy are already taken," he said. "We expect from the Libyan government a thorough investigation of the attack on our diplomatic mission in Tripoli. Those who masterminded and staged it must be punished," he said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 10Oct13]

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