A number of the Arab media outlets wrote about an audio recording released in 2019. It contained a telephone conversation between Khaled al-Mishri, an official representative of the so-called Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, and Younes Abazid, an employee of the Foundation for National Values Protection, a Russian NGO.
Recall that in May last year, two Russian sociologists, Maxim Shugalei and Samer Sueifan, were kidnapped in Libya and placed in prison, where they are still held without any formal charges. Khaled al-Mishri got in touch with the Foundation for National Values Protection, where Shugalei and Sueifan had previously worked, with a proposal to assist in their release. In return for help, he demanded Moscow’s official support for the GNA on international platforms. Al-Mishri openly blackmailed the representative of the Moscow-based NGO called the Foundation for National Values Protection. Apparently, he did not understand that the Foundation had nothing to do with such issues as lobbying any had no relationship to Russian government departments.
The Arab reporters who scrutinized the conversation made a conclusion that al-Mishri showed the true face of the terrorists who had seized power in Tripoli.
The media outlets Libyaakhbar and Roayahnews drew attention to the fact that al-Mishri resorted to the methods of used by militants. Notably, he heads the Libyan affiliation of Muslim Brotherhood*, a terrorist group which is banned in Russia.
According to the Libya24 publication, the GNA statement that the Russian sociologists violated the visa regulations is false. The photos visas in their documents confirm that their presence in Libya is legal. The Gulf365 newspaper wrote that this blackmail matched the GNA position on Russia’s proposals for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the country. As is commonly known, the militants do not accept them and adhere to the methods, which are standard for terrorists.
According to military expert Sergei Khatylev, the GNA uses common instruments for militants such as taking of hostages and bargaining. According to him, there are plenty of external parties with interests in the Libyan crisis – the U.S., Turkey, and the Arab world. All of them might be links in the same chain and be interested in getting a slice of the pie.
Vyacheslav Matuzov, a member of the Committee for Solidarity with the Peoples of Libya and Syria, believes that the GNA does not make decisions independently. In his opinion, al-Mishri's blackmail might have been dictated by “the position of some external forces.” It is quite possible, says Matuzov, that “certain American circles dictate their terms in Libya.” Therefore, what happened to the Russian sociologists and the fabricated stories about “the Russian interference” in Libya’s state affairs were made with the expectation that Moscow is ready to go above and beyond in some issues.
*The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognized the Congress of the Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Liberation Party as extremist organizations and outlawed their activities in Russia. Its resolution No. GKPI 03 116 was passed on February 14, 2003, and took effect on March 4, 2003.