US authorities demanded from Russia to stop "destabilizing actions" in Libya
The Maltese government has seized counterfeit Libyan currency notes worth $1.1 billion, which were issued by the Russian Goznak. The American authorities have appealed to Russia with a demand to stop “destabilizing actions” in Libya. The seizure became known on May 26, in response to this, a message approving the actions of Malta authorities appeared on the website of the US Department of State.
The State Department also clarified that the printing of money was ordered by an illegitimate organization, and the influx of counterfeit bills, which comes from Russia, is aggravating Libya’s financial difficulties. The report also says that this incident once again confirms the importance of preventing the intervention of the Russian authorities.
In addition, the appeal specifies that the Libyan Central Bank, which is based in Tripoli is the only legitimate bank in the country. The American government is confident that by its actions Russia is not only interfering with the financial stability of Libya, but also trying to undermine its sovereignty.
In response to the accusations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that “it is not the Libyan dinars that are fake, but the American statements.” The answer was published on the agency’s website.
Among other things, the Foreign Ministry drew attention to the dual power in Libya, where two central banks operate. One of them is located in Tripoli, as indicated by the US government, and the second is in Benghazi.
The corresponding contract on the printing of dinars was signed by the head of the Central Bank from Benghazi with Goznak in 2015. The Foreign Ministry also clarified that the head of the bank was chosen by the Libyan parliament, which proves its legitimacy.
Goznak, in turn, noted that the Libyan regulator has two branches, which are located in Tripoli and Tobruk. The contract was signed with a bank from the second city. The bills were seized in September 2019 at the Malta border. Until now, they have not given any clarification on this matter. They will appear only in May, with significant distortions of the terms of the agreement between the parties.