The United States and the National Oil Corporation of Libya (National Oil Corporation, NOC) are outraged by the presence of Russian mercenaries at the largest Libyan oil field in Al-Sharara. This was told by the representative of the State Department Morgan Ortagus on his Twitter.
“We share deep concern (…) about the interference of PMC Wagner, a force subordinate to the Russian Ministry of Defense, and foreign mercenaries in the work of Libyan enterprises and personnel in the oil field,” she said. According to Ortagus, these actions directly threaten the sovereignty and welfare of Libya.
On June 26, it was reported that Russian mercenaries had invaded the field and met with representatives of NOC facility security. The chairman of the oil corporation said that “Libyan oil is for the Libyan people”, rejecting all attempts by foreigners to prevent the resumption of oil production.
On June 17, the African command of the US Armed Forces announced that on the side of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, two thousand fighters of the private military company (PMC) Wagner were fighting.
PMC Wagner – an unofficial armed group, which is associated with St. Petersburg businessman Eugene Prigozhin. His mercenaries are believed to provide security services in several African countries. According to some reports, they also took part in the hostilities in Donbass, Syria and were sent to Sudan to support President Omar al-Bashir.
On June 9, it was already reported that the mysterious armed forces had invaded Al-Sharar, trying to stop its production. Then some forces entered the field under the leadership of commander Muhammad Khalifa, who appears to be the head of the “protection of oil facilities in the south.” He ordered an immediate stop to the production. At the same time, the oil corporation forced its employees to continue working. Presumably, Haftar forces could have taken that attack.