Russian President Vladimir Putin, asked on Saturday whether mercenaries known as the Wagner Group were fighting in Libya, said that if there are Russians in Libya, they are not representing the Russian state, nor are they paid by the state.
Russian private military contractors have clandestinely fought in support of Russian forces in Syria and Ukraine, Reuters and other media have previously reported. The contractors are recruited by a private military group known as Wagner Group whose members are mostly ex-service personnel.
The Russian state denies it uses mercenaries abroad.
During a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow, Putin said it was time to hold Libya peace talks in Berlin, as it was important to end the conflict in the country. Merkel said at the same press conference that Germany plans to start sending out invitations for the peace talks soon.