Russia Welcomes Deal on Oil Exports, Libya War News

Libya’s National Oil Corp. said it wouldn’t lift force majeure provisions until Russian mercenaries who support Haftar withdraw from oil installations, and denounced what it called parallel talks in a statement late Thursday. Despite having Africa’s largest crude reserves, Libya may struggle to ramp up production quickly even if the conflict has abated. Its oil industry is crumbling after more than nine years of neglected maintenance amid a civil war that’s killed thousands and destroyed towns across the country. The lack of basic servicing has left pipelines corroding and storage tanks collapsing.

Russia Welcomes Libya Deal on Oil Exports

Russia Welcomes Libya Deal on Oil Exports, Revenue Distribution

Russia said it welcomed a contested deal that would allow Libya to resume oil exports halted by a blockade at the start of the year, with revenue distributed across the divided nation.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq reached the accord last week at a meeting in Sochi, Russia, with military commander Khalifa Haftar’s son and representatives from oil-rich eastern Libya. They also agreed to form a special commission to resolve conflicts. Haftar’s forces locked down fields and ports in January.

“We welcome this decision,” the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on its website on Saturday. “We regard it as the first step toward building trust between the warring factions in Libya. It is assumed that the proceeds from its implementation will be fairly distributed among all regions of the country.”

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj hasn’t accepted the agreement, casting doubt on any imminent resumption of production. Maiteeq, who is often at odds with Sarraj, was stopped by other members of government from visiting Sirte, a city by held by Haftar, to sign the agreement on Friday.

Libya’s National Oil Corp. said it wouldn’t lift force majeure provisions until Russian mercenaries who support Haftar withdraw from oil installations, and denounced what it called parallel talks in a statement late Thursday.

Despite having Africa’s largest crude reserves, Libya may struggle to ramp up production quickly even if the conflict has abated. Its oil industry is crumbling after more than nine years of neglected maintenance amid a civil war that’s killed thousands and destroyed towns across the country. The lack of basic servicing has left pipelines corroding and storage tanks collapsing.

Libya’s Sarraj Balks at Deal With Haftar to Restart Oil Output

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj didn’t accept a deal reached between his deputy prime minister and rival military commander Khalifa Haftar to lift an oil blockade, a top aide said, casting further doubt on an imminent resumption of production.

Haftar had earlier announced he would lift the blockade that his eastern forces imposed on fields and ports in January. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, who is often at odds with Sarraj, had made the agreement last week at a meeting in Sochi, Russia, with Haftar’s son and representatives from eastern Libya. He was meant to visit Sirte, a city by held by Haftar, to sign the agreement on Friday but was blocked by other members of his government.

Maiteeq said in an interview that he thought Sarraj would embrace the deal, but the senior aide, who can’t be named because of internal policy, denied that in a response to questions.

Libya’s National Oil Corp. had denounced what it called parallel talks in a statement late Thursday and said it wouldn’t lift force majeure until Russian mercenaries who support Haftar withdraw from oil installations.

Maiteeq said he wanted the mercenaries out of the country, but the issue didn’t come up in the talks with rival Libyans to restart production. The agreement is meant to set up a commission to distribute oil revenues more fairly, a key demand by Haftar that had led him to shut down the fields as his campaign to capture Tripoli -- the western coast capital where Al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord is based -- flagged in January.

Sarraj announced earlier this week that he will step down by the end of October to make way for a new government, raising the stakes for rivals within his camp who want to replace him.

Haftar, whose forces control oil-rich eastern Libya, said on television that he has decided to allow the reopening of the nation’s ports “as per conditions and guarantees that ensure a fair distribution of wealth and spare it being plundered or used in terrorism financing.” The announcement was the result of talks with M

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