Russia has failed to broker a compromise between Libya’s two warring parties, the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj and the Libyan National Army headed by Khalifa Hifter. The military commander left Moscow without signing a cease-fire agreement initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Hifter’s rejection of the deal means, above all, that this is just the beginning of a long journey. Despite its preference for a low-profile approach until recently, Russia has officially entered the playing field to resolve the Libyan conflict and the first setback will hardly make it leave the game. This is all the more so because Hifter’s departure from Moscow with no deal signed is a personal challenge for Putin.