Khalifa Haftar met Sunday at the headquarters of his forces in Rajma, near Benghazi, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus Bek Yevkirov, and his accompanying delegation.

Yevkirov's visits to eastern Libya have been repeated since late last year, amid confirmations from Russian media that Moscow had started forming an "African Legion" to replace the "Wagner" forces, and its structure will be completed by the summer of 2024 to operate in Libya, Burkina Faso, Mali, l the Central African Republic, and Niger.

Last August, Yevkirov made a first-of-its-kind visit to Benghazi at the invitation of Haftar to discuss prospects for cooperation in the field of combating international terrorism and other issues of joint interest.

The Russian official also returned to eastern Libya again in October, following the devastating floods in eastern region in Libya, and met with Haftar again, while the latter’s media office confirmed that the discussions focused on providing support to the affected areas.

The Russian Deputy Minister of Defense made another visit to Benghazi last December and met with Haftar, discussing ways of joint cooperation, according to what Haftar forces’ media reported at the time.

In late September, Haftar visited Moscow to hold talks with Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, about developments in the situation in Libya and bilateral relations.