Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson
The United States commends the Government of the Republic of Malta’s announcement May 26 of its seizure of $1.1 billion of counterfeit Libyan currency printed by Joint Stock Company Goznak—a Russian state-owned company—and ordered by an illegitimate parallel entity. The Central Bank of Libya headquartered in Tripoli is Libya’s only legitimate central bank. The influx of counterfeit, Russian-printed Libyan currency in recent years has exacerbated Libya’s economic challenges. The United States remains committed to working with the United Nations and international partners to deter illicit activities that undermine Libya’s sovereignty and stability, and are inconsistent with internationally-recognized sanctions regimes. This incident once again highlights the need for Russia to cease its malign and destabilizing actions in Libya.