Billionaire Evgeny Prigozhin attended talks between Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army, in Moscow on November 7, according to video footage published on the Libyan military’s official YouTube channel. The newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has recently published two revelatory articles about Prigozhin, was the first to notice the catering tycoon’s presence at the negotiations.
Shoigu and Haftar met to discuss security issues in the Middle East and North Africa. Prigozhin’s participation in the talks was not announced in advance. After Novaya Gazeta’s report, a “military-diplomatic” source told the news agency Interfax that Prigozhin “organized an official lunch” during the negotiations, and “participated in a discussion about the visiting Libyan delegation’s cultural program.”
For the past several months, journalists have reported that Russia has been deploying military personnel and mercenaries to Libya to aid Field Marshal Haftar. Moscow denies these allegations.
Evgeny Prigozhin is allegedly involved in the activities of the “Wagner” private military group, whose mercenaries are reportedly active in Syria and other countries, supposedly operating under the guise of military experts. Prigozhin’s representatives deny that he has any connections to the Wagner PMC.