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14/12/2019
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Russia Poised in Libya to Unleash Migrant Crisis Into Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be capitalizing on ways immigration can destabilize Western countries.  A Libyan coast guardsman stands on a boat of migrants attempting to reach Europe using Lybia as a jumping-off point.A Libyan coast guardsman stands on a boat of migrants attempting to reach Europe using Lybia as a jumping-off point.

Tripoli, Nov.11.– Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to the West last month that the widening chaos in Libya after almost a decade of war should have been obvious: "A flow of migrants went through Libya to Europe," he said in an interview, recalling the displacement of refugees that has reached crisis levels in recent years. "They have what they were warned about."

This week, The New York Times documented the deployment into Libya of Russian mercenaries. While Moscow denies its involvement, the situation mirrors tactics it has successfully employed in Syria and Ukraine to gain influence in chaotic war zones by dispatching private forces Putin can disavow until the point of victory.

The Russian leader's warning about Libya, many analysts believe, reflects an ambition to intervene in the conflict at least in part to control refugee flows into Europe, indicating a broad understanding of the disruptive power that the movement of immigrants has had on the Western world.

"Russia's efforts to manipulate refugee flows is aimed at destabilizing and politically weakening the European Union," says Agnia Grigas, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. "Libya's proximity to Europe just across the Mediterranean is likely to unleash another refugee catastrophe."

The possibility of another mass migration is feared in Europe ...

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