Bloomberg has reported a Libyan official as saying that the Government of National Accord (GNA) is going to try the Russians accused of espionage and interference in elections despite pressure by Moscow for their release.
The newspaper said Friday that the Libyan Public Prosecution had revealed in a letter to the Foreign Ministry that the two Russians were working for Wagner Group that is run by Putin's close personality, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and they were part of Russia's efforts to secure a military base in Libya.
The Russian citizens, Maxim Shugaley and Samir Seifan, were arrested in Tripoli in May 2019 and have been held in jail there since. They haven’t yet been referred to trial, which is when charges are formalized.
Russia told a GNA delegation that visited Moscow last week, headed by Foreign Minister Mohammed Sayala member of Presidential Council Ahmed Mitig, that the issue of those two Russians was hindering any growing cooperation between the two countries, while Mitig was reported as saying that an important statement about the two men would soon be released by the Public Prosecutor's Office.
Russia has been a major supporter of Haftar's forces, giving him different military equipment, weapons, aircraft and defense systems via UAE or private contractor - Wagner Group, which has sent thousands of mercenaries to fight for Haftar in southern Tripoli and then retreated upon defeat to GNA.