A few hours after the Berlin summit ended with a long, final document, a Moskovsky Komsomolets headline said “Erdogan freaked out leaving the conference on Libya in Berlin.” The paper wrote that Russian President “Vladimir Putin can breathe freely: The participants in the Berlin conference on Libya did not support Erdogan’s proposal for military intervention in the Libya conflict, to be carried by the Turkish army.” The newspaper said attempts to bring together the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj and the Libyan opposition led by strongman Khalifa Hifter will continue. The publication continued, “And any military assistance and outside interference is strictly prohibited. As a result, Erdogan freaked out and left the conference ahead of schedule.”
This reporting showed Erdogan and Putin on opposite sides when it came to Libya, with Germany and Turkey with Sarraj’s Government of National Accord and Putin, France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates with Hifter. Hifter seems to have the upper hand on the Libyan battlefield and, perhaps more than important than anything else, its oil fields. Greece, which was not invited to Berlin, can be added to this axis.
How credible is Moskovsky Komsomolets? Almost 10% of Russians and one-third of Muscovites follow the newspaper, which has a reputation for occasionally sensational and provocative news items. A month ago, on the 100th anniversary of the newspaper, Putin said the publication “is rightfully considered a leader among print media in Russia.”