On Feb. 5, members of the UN-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) voted on interim leadership for its executive council, selecting Mohammad Younes Menfi as chairman of the Presidency Council and Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah as interim prime minister. The outcome of the vote by the 74-member forum came as a big surprise to external sponsors of the Libyan peace process — and Russia was no exception here. Moscow believed that a list it had agreed upon with Ankara and Cairo, led by Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha and Chairman of the House of Representatives Aquila Saleh, should have claimed the victory.
On the other hand, for Russia in Libya, by and large nothing has changed after the vote. Moscow still expects that its favorite figures will retain their positions, both in the new interim government of Libya — possibly receiving ministerial portfolios there — and following the national elections set for Dec. 24, 2021.