Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov denies Russian involvement in sending mercenaries to Libya via Syria

DARAMSUQ — During a visit to Syria on Monday, a Russian delegation which included Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem.

At the end of August, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) and the People’s Will Party signed a memorandum of understanding in Moscow outlining a political vision for Syria’s future.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in Syria, the work of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, joint political, economic, and military cooperation, and reconstruction, as well as discussing the U.S.-imposed sanctions under the so-called Caesar’s Law and their implications for the economies of Syria and its supporters from foreign countries.

During the meeting, Lavrov, speaking on the situation in Libya, denied media reports alleging that Russia is using Syria as a platform to send troops and mercenaries to fight on behalf of Head of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar, in the country’s ongoing civil war.

Russia supported the United Nations Security Council resolution enforcing an arms embargo on Libya, said Lavrov, but “We remember how, mere months thereafter, certain European countries announced publicly, via their General Staffs and military representatives, without any shame, that they support the extremists against [Muammar] Gaddafi and ship weapons to those extremists,” Lavrov stated.