MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russia hopes the elections in Libya would take place as scheduled, on December 24, but a minor delay will not be a problem, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Egypt’s TeN television.
"The date [of the elections] has been set for December 24. I hope the timeframe would be observed. However, our priority is not to meet a formal deadline, but rather to make the elections a substantive process, so that all political forces can take part and have no problem with recognizing the outcome. I will say openly and frankly that, from this point of view, I see no problem if there is a minor delay or rescheduling," the minister said.
The Russian top diplomat called upon the United States and the European Union not to meddle with Libya’s sovereign affairs.
"I am not entitled to speak on behalf of the people of Libya," he said, when asked to comment on candidates, who are to take part in the forthcoming polls. "I would not take the liberty to do so, and I strongly discourage the Americans and Europeans from trying to decide another nation’s fate. <…> Let Libyans decide for themselves."
In his opinions, the transparency and accuracy of the electoral process should be ensured by Libyans themselves.
"We will speak in favor of Libyans themselves ensuring the transparency and purity of the electoral processes," he said, adding that Russia urges Libyan politicians "to find the courage to recognize their own people’s choice.".