Ukraine, Russia and oil are drawing the US into Libyan politics

Prompted by Ukraine’s war-induced energy crisis, US officials have dramatically increased their involvement in Libya’s internal disputes after years of being largely, and notably, absent. His intensified diplomacy with rival Libyan factions is moving toward a deal to share oil revenues and bring back production, which was halved in April.

Western officials, presenting an oil revenue deal as a victory for Libyans, hope it can be used as a springboard to a broader political deal.

why are we writing this

Washington is plunging back into Libyan politics, brokering a deal between warlords and rival politicians to boost oil production. Could this lead to a broader national agreement, or are US motives suspect?

“Half of Libya’s oil is off the market now, which we think is not only bad for Libyans and deprives them of opportunity, but bad for the global economy,” says a senior Western official.

However, behind the renewed Western focus on Libya lurks competition with Moscow. The Russian-aligned paramilitary Wagner Group still maintains a large presence in oil-rich eastern Libya. Unless the West can counter Moscow’s influence soon, US and European officials fear Russia may decide to use its assets in Libya against NATO and Europe.

However, with the recent US withdrawal fresh on their minds, Libyans remain cautious. Could the renewed US interest in Libya end in a deal that sacrifices Libya’s democracy and stability for the short-term geopolitical interests of the West? Can American motives be trusted?

Amman, Jordan

A decade after NATO countries helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the United States is close to bringing Libya’s bitterly divided political factions together over oil.

Prompted by Ukraine’s war-induced energy crisis, US officials have dramatically increased their involvement in the North African country’s internal disputes after years of being largely, and notably, absent.

His intensified roving diplomacy between rival Libyan governments, factions, members of parliament and warlords is moving toward a Libyan deal to share oil revenues and bring production back online.

why are we writing this

Washington is plunging back into Libyan politics, brokering a deal between warlords and rival politicians to boost oil production. Could this lead to a broader national agreement, or are US motives suspect?

The country’s production was cut in half in April. To protest the massive transfer of oil revenues to the government in western Libya, eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army orchestrated the closure of oil fields, withholding 600,000 barrels, costing the country 60 million dollars, per day.

“Half of Libya’s oil is off the market now, which we think is not only bad for Libyans and deprives them of opportunity, but bad for the global economy,” says a senior Western official, adding, “ and right now, every barrel counts.”

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