DUSHANBE, September 3 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow has invited representatives of the Transitional National Council of Libya to Russia on their request to discuss the future of Russian energy projects in that country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“They proposed to hold consultations. We invited them to visit Moscow on their request. We will discuss with them all issues,” Lavrov told journalists on Saturday.
Earlier, Russian presidential special envoy for Mikhail Margelov conveyed an invitation to the National Transitional Council of Libya (NTC) to visit Moscow in the short run. “The TNC head, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, thanked for the invitation and showed interest in this trip.” “A wide range of political and economic issues will be in the focus of the meeting,” the presidential special envoy said.
Margelov said he doubts that the Libyan new authorities will politicise contracts between Russia and Jamahiriya.
Commenting on Russia’s position on the Libyan settlement ahead of the international conference in Paris, Margelov said he would represent Russia at the upcoming forum, which would focus on post-restoration of Libya.
The Foreign Ministry reported that Russia recognized the Transitional National Council of Libya as current authority. “We proceed from the assumption that the treaties, signed by the Russian Federation and Libya, as well as other mutual commitments, will remain in effect in relations between the two countries and will be unfailingly observed,” the ministry said.
The Russian envoy said, “Suppositions were expressed recently by some mass media that the new Libyan government would not resume trade and economic contracts with Russia.” “When the hostilities between the insurgents and the Gaddafi forces were going on near Benghazi, with alternating success, representatives of the opposition assured me that all the contracts signed by Russia with the previous regime would be observed. These include contracts dealing with the oil sector, military-technical cooperation and the laying of a railway line,” he stressed.
“At present the Transitional National Council is analysing the contracts, signed by the Gaddafi regime, in order to establish whether or not they are transparent. I do not think the new Libyan government will begin with the evaluation of contracts with Russia by political criteria, instead of technical and economic ones,” Margelov said.
Russian railway and oil companies have good chances to continue their operation in Libya and fulfil their contracts in that country, a source in the Russian presidential executive office said on Friday.
The Kremlin source told reporters that the prospects of Russian companies to continue their operation in Libya are “quite good.”
He also stressed the determination of the Russian leadership to keep protecting the interests of Russian companies in Libya. “We are not only going to, but are also taking concrete measures,” the source said.
“The government is working on this issue,” the Kremlin source pledged, noting that the contacts with the Libyan side already took place. “In general, we had the contacts, and the embassy and Margelov are working with them. We are going to (deal with this issue) and keep doing it,” he elaborated.
The Russian envoy pointed to Moscow’s active mediation efforts during the conflict in Libya. “Russia maintained active contacts with the opposition in Benghazi and peace-making initiatives by the African Union and U.N. Special Representative for Libya Abdel Ilah al-Khatib,” he said. “This corresponded to our position on the Libyan crisis – to immediately cease bloodshed and begin political settlement,” Margelov explained. “Within these efforts, this summer, on the instruction of President Dmitry Medvedev, I’ve held talks with representatives of the Libyan opposition in Benghazi. In addition, I’ve met them at the summit of the African Union in Malabo to discuss a roadmap to launch talks between the warring parties. The meetings with Benghazi representatives were held on the sidelines of the celebrations marking the independence of Southern Sudan in Juba.”
Margelov confirmed Russia’s position saying it was the U.N. Security Council and its institutions that should play a key role in this process. However, such approach “does not create obstacles for the participation of Russian representatives in any international forums on the peaceful development in Libya”, Margelov said.
The senator said the Paris conference “is not linked with the Libya Contact Group. The conference will involve representatives from over 60 countries, the U.N. and the Transitional National Council of Libya. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon may take part in the conference. The forum will be also attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron”.
“Members of the international community should take responsibility for Libya and act in compliance with the Charter and other U.N. documents. The Libyan Transitional National Council has non-easy tasks to monitor the situation, form bodies of power and preserve sovereignty of the country without external interference,” the Russian presidential special envoy said.
“The Transitional National Council has to do filigree work to coordinate tribe and clannish interests, to restore the infrastructure and the economy of the country,” Margelov pointed out.