The United States has hailed Malta’s announcement on May 26 of its seizure of $1.1 billion of counterfeit Libyan currency printed by Joint Stock Company Goznak – a Russian state-owned company.
A statement by the Spokesperson of the US State Department, Morgan Ortagus, said the money was regarded as counterfeit because it was ordered by an illegitimate parallel entity in eastern Libya, referring to pro-Haftar authorities in the eastern region.
The statement on Friday added that the Central Bank of Libya headquartered in Tripoli is Libya’s only legitimate central bank, stressing that the influx of counterfeit, Russian-printed Libyan currency in recent years has exacerbated Libya’s economic challenges.
The Spokesperson of the US State Department remarked that Washington remains committed to working with the United Nations and international partners to deter illicit activities that undermine Libya’s sovereignty and stability, and are inconsistent with internationally-recognized sanctions regimes.
“This incident once again highlights the need for Russia to cease its malign and destabilizing actions in Libya.” The US State Department Spokesperson said.