Paris is paying attention to the visit of a high-level Russian military delegation to Benghazi, which reflects the strengthening of relations with the Libyan National Army's General Command despite US pressure on Marshal Khalifa Haftar to cut ties with the Wagner Group.
A delegation of Russian military officials led by Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov arrived in Benghazi on Tuesday at the invitation of Haftar.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the delegation arrived on an official visit as the "first fruit of Russian-Libyan talks within the framework of the 11th Moscow International Security Conference and the Army 2023 Exhibition."
"This is the first official visit of a Russian military delegation to Libya," the statement added, saying the sides would discuss prospects for cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism and other issues of joint action.
Radio France Internationale (RFI) linked the visit to Moscow's efforts, isolated on the international stage since the war in Ukraine, to the search for allies, as it raises its orientation towards African countries.
For Russia, Libya serves as a "bridge" to its presence in Africa, acting as a competitor to the continent's classical Western powers.
In Libya, RFI said Moscow had supported Haftar for several years and maintained ongoing ties with him against the government in Tripoli, which is backed by the international community.