The head of Libya’s United Nations-backed government, Fayez al-Sarraj, undertook an official visit to Moscow to meet with top Russian diplomats and officials March 2-3. Russia has been stepping up efforts in Libya, which seems baffling outside the wide regional context. There is a popular opinion that Russian foreign policy, including planning in the Middle East, may sometimes be tactically impeccable but lacks strategic thinking. Some believe that unpredictability has been a hallmark of the Kremlin's foreign policy.
Russia’s revived interest in the Middle East goes back to Vladimir Putin’s second presidential term (2004-2008), and for a long while the authorities have focused on economic development and the need for most diversified economic ties. Their attitude has been typified by blunt pragmatism.