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«The Arab Spring» in Libya: 10 years later»

On February 17, 2021 the School of International Regional Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University, together with the Russian Middle East Association within the framework of the permanent online seminar «Contemporary area studies», organized the second meeting dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Arab Spring with a Deputy head of the Joint Department of the Institute of Oriental studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs,HSE University Grigory Lukyanov. The topic of the meeting was: «The Arab Spring» in Libya: 10 years later»

The seminar was moderated by Sadygzade Murad - President of the Russian Middle East Association, Assistant Head of the School of International Regional Studies at the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics, HSE University. 

At the beginning of the meeting, all the participants and the speaker of the event were

greeted by Dr. Vera Vishnyakova, Head of the School of International Regional Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University. 

Grigory Lukyanov in his speech made an accent on the consequences of «Arab Spring» in Libya and stressed that fundamental splits haven’t been healed until today.

Firstly, speaker payed attention on the fact of the lack of general democratic elections. Moreover, speaker has mentioned that nowadays socio-political issues are not being the agenda. 

Among the negative consequences expert noted the destruction of infrastructure, in particular serious damage to the system of reaction facilities, as well as disruption of the functioning of the transport infrastructure. Fluctuation of oil sector have also influenced on Libya’s population. As the expert highlighted, the social speeches were aimed at resolving the issue of the effective use of oil money, as well as at increasing the social responsibility of the state. 

One of the most damaged spheres was agricultural. According to the speaker’s information, today Libya imports more than 93% of the consumed products. It means that the State is unable to ensure food security independently. 

Grigory Lukyanov also paid attention to the political consequences of the "Arab Spring" in Libya. In 2014, the newly elected Parliament failed to function properly and the old Parliament continued to function, which led to a situation of dual power in the country. This case demonstrated that both governments have their own institutions and foreign policy contacts. This situation indicates the political division of Libya, which it is trying to overcome to this day. 

One more actual problem expert mentioned the lack of effective political parties in the State. Furthermore, Grigory Lukyanov noted that the political forces are highly polarized and often do not accept each other. 

Equally, difficult consequence was the over-militarization of the State. Nowadays, there are the abundance of weapon and as a result, an increase in the number of different armed groups. 

At the end of the speech, Grigory Lukyanov stressed the interests of the Russian Federation in relation to the Libyan situation. As the experts said, since the beginning of the "Arab Spring", the Russian Federation has considered the situation as a violation of the principles of International Law and as a provocation of conflicts. Russia up to 2019 has distanced from the active participation in Libya’s conflict.

The situation has changed in 2019. In that time, Russia joined the Republic of Turkey in supporting the initiative to hold peace talks. According to the speaker, Russia in this situation proceeds from its main strategic goal - the presence of a reliable and predictable partner in the face of a single state of Libya. 

Grigory Lukyanov answered all the participant’s questions. 

The link to the video: https://youtu.be/qZSwrSp09hU