The Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov arrived in Benghazi on Saturday, where he was received by Khalifa Haftar for the third time this year, as he and Haftar met at the end of August on his first visit, and then in September, coinciding with Derna floods disaster.

Haftar forces' command said in a statement on Saturday that the meeting saw discussions about ways of joint cooperation between Libya and Russia.

Late last September, Haftar visited Moscow to hold talks with Russian officials about developments in the situation in Libya and bilateral relations.

In November, international media reported that the Russian authorities were cooperating with the “Libyan authorities” to establish a Russian military corps in Africa.

Reports about a Russian legion in Africa angered Washington, which warned Haftar against depending on the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US State Department's spokesman Ned Price said that the mercenaries of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner represented a harmful element in Libya, as "they plunder the countries in which they are located, endanger public security and cause a lack of respect for human rights."

According to the US State Department, the Russian African legion will have to conduct large-scale military operations in the continent to confront Western influence, considering that the Wagner group destabilized Libya and used it as a platform to organize its activities in the region.