The new political momentum created by the UN envoy Abdoulaye Bathily's initiative is an "excellent opportunity" to move toward elections this year, the US Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf said following her visit to Libya.

Speaking to Reuters, Leaf said that, unlike in the past, the international community has become more biased towards Libya, warning that spoilers might face sanctions if required.

The US official stressed that elections and a unified government in Libya with full sovereignty are the best way to expel the Russian Wagner Group, which she said was operating in Libya in alliance with the eastern forces.

Wagner violates Libyan sovereignty, destabilizes the Sahel region, and mainly uses Libya as a way to reach Central Africa and plunder its resources, Leaf explains.