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Russia ready to help restore Libya’s economy — PM

The premier says Russia is ready to take part in the restoration of Libya’s economy and social sphere

PALERMO, November 13. /TASS/. Russia is ready to take part in the restoration of Libya’s economy and social sphere, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a conference on Libya that is taking place in Italy.

"The restoration of economy, the restoration of the social sphere, promising projects that can be restored and should be restored - this is also a key to the renewal of normal life in Libya," the Russian prime minister stressed. "We are ready to be engaged in it," he added.

There is a positive experience of international cooperation in issues of the settlement of situations of this kind, including the situation in Syria, Medvedev said. "This format proves to be effective even in difficult situations," he stressed.

"Political agreements are just the tip of the iceberg," the prime minister said. "Because if behind these political agreements is the same destroyed economy and various gangs that are trying to rob the potential of the country which used to be single, then all these political agreements will be disavowed sooner or later," he explained.

"Stability is impossible if the prosperity of some is paid by the sufferings of others, even if they are separated by border walls or barbed wire, or waters of the Mediterranean Sea," the prime minister affirmed. "We saw all it through the example of Libyan events," he added. It means that it is necessary to care about the safety of all participants of the international community, consolidate mutual confidence and follow the principles of the UN Charter and international law, the prime minister added. Medvedev is confident that there are chances to succeed in this area.

Russia calls for compromise

All parties must agree to a compromise on the Libya issue, he said. 

"Clearly, it is impossible to reach such agreements without all parties showing willingness to achieve a compromise," he said, adding that "otherwise, the agreements and decisions that are going to be made will be undermined sooner or later."

The Russian prime minister was also confident that the Skhirat Agreement could facilitate progress in resolving the Libya issue. "I am sure that it can be done through multilateral efforts in accordance with the decisions made by the United Nations Security Council," he stressed. "Our country has always insisted that there should be no distortions and misinterpretations that we have seen so far," Medvedev said. "The Skhirat Agreement and the roadmap for resolving the issue provide basis for the search for a peaceful solution," he added.

According to the Russian prime minister, the implementation of these documents has been at a standstill because those involved in the process do not trust each other. Medvedev noted that the goals outlined at the previous conference on Libya, held in May, were unlikely to be achieved. "But anyway, we need to move forward and set new dates and control points in order to untangle this knot," he concluded.

Russia will step up efforts for a settlement in Libya and maintain contact with all participants in the dialogue, he added. "We are interested in this settlement and we will certainly step up efforts along these lines. I discussed this theme with all counterparts. I’ve just talked to one of the top executive officials, the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj. We had contacts with other participants in the dialogue, too," Medvedev said.

According to the Russian prime minister, such contacts continue, including in Russia. "I told openly to our partners that we will maintain contacts all participants in the dialogue on national reconciliation because it is essential to try to shape a new layout of the state," he stressed. "But everything depends 90% on Libya’s citizens, on those political forces that were represented here today."

"If they reach accord, there will be a unified state, there will be common economic development. We are ready to cooperate with them. We are ready to develop economic projects," Medvedev said, adding that Libya is a rich country with centuries-long traditions. But if no consensus is reached, "such conferences will be continued," he noted. "There must be a way out."

Medvedev has called for doing everything possible to ensure Libya’s sad fate be not repeated in other countries. 

"We are determined to do everything possible to ensure a lasting peace set in on Libyan soil and other countries escape its tragic fate," he said.

Medvedev believes that the problems being discussed at the conference are fundamental, although formally they are devoted to one country.

"These problems stem from non-compliance with a number of fundamental principles, including unconditional supremacy of international law and the United Nations’ central role," he believes.

Medvedev recalled that the world had faced the effects of this for the past fifteen years.

"The scenarios of such projects can be seen first and foremost in the Middle East and northern Africa. Very clearly we were able to see that in Libya," he stated.

As he looked back on the events of 2011, Medvedev voiced the certainty that the regime that ruled the country in those days was responsible for "criminal actions against its own citizens."

"The country needed changes, but it was the prerogative of the Libyan people to decide on the basis of internal political and national dialogue what those changes should be like," he said. "The mission of the United Nations was to help establish such a dialogue and to provide legal support for it."

"We remember the way various resolutions were adopted then. I made certain decisions myself, including those concerning the weapons embargo on Libya and the introduction of the air exclusion zone," Medvedev recalled. "It was claimed that the decisions were to help stop violence and create conditions for development. Regrettably, all this remained unimplemented. This should be remembered to ensure the same scenario should not have a rerun in any other country."