Although their numbers have been reduced from the 4,000-fighter level, Russia's Wagner forces are present at four military bases in Libya, according to the Libya-based Sadeq Institute think tank and Navanti Group, which advises private clients and US government agencies.
Russian mercenaries also have access to some of the country's most important energy facilities, including the largest oil field, Sharara, and the Es Sider crude oil export terminal, they will now help mine on Libyan soil.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not respond to a request for comment on Russian policy in Libya or the role of Wagner forces in the North African country.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the new head of Libya's oil company (NOC), Farhat Bengdara, praised Haftar's forces for their "great efforts to secure" the oil fields.
He said Libya plans to open new fields to international companies in 2024 and increase production from 1.2 million barrels per day within five years.
Most oil analysts doubt that the NOC can achieve this without more political stability.
"Our impression is that the West is trying to achieve stability in Libya to ensure that more oil and gas supplies from that country reach European markets," said Elena Suponina, a Moscow-based Russian Middle East analyst.
"The Kremlin understands that the US wants to use any means to weaken Russia's influence in Libya, and one of our tasks is not to allow that to happen," she stressed.
Wagner's possession of warplanes and air defense systems also complicates US efforts to counter the group on Libyan soil.
Haftar relies on the Russians to protect him and fend off the rival Libyan militia in Tripoli.
Gleb Irisov, a former Russian Air Force officer who served in 2019-2020 at Syria's Khmeimim Air Base, is participating on Moscow's orders in air cover for Wagner's forces in Libya, with up to 20 Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets as and attack helicopters in Eastern Libya.
As Wagner's influence spreads to Sudan, where the US has announced that Moscow has delivered surface-to-air missiles to the Rapid Support Force waging a war against the Sudanese army.
Last month, the US imposed sanctions on an arms dealer accused of overseeing Wagner's operations in Mali.
It claims the Russian mercenary organization is transporting weapons through Africa to support Putin's campaign in Ukraine.
The US has repeatedly imposed sanctions on Wagner and its leadership structure, including Prigozhin.
Those efforts, however, have so far dealt little damage to the organization's operations, including its push to deepen its foothold in several African and Middle Eastern nations.
Moscow's decision to restore its diplomatic presence in Tripoli is the clearest indication that Putin wants to move beyond his traditional support for military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east.
The developments have alarmed the US, which has dispatched a number of senior officials to counter Putin's advances in an OPEC member that European governments are courting as a potential alternative to Russian energy.
It is recalled that the head of the CIA, William Burns, who visited Libya in January, speaking to rival governments in the east and the west, tried to find common ground.
At the top of the US agenda is the drive to expel some 2,000 Wagner mercenaries who control oil supplies in a country that is home to 40% of Africa's reserves.
"The status quo is inherently unstable," U.S. special envoy to Libya Richard Norland said in a telephone interview, warning of unspecified efforts to exploit internal divisions and obstruct U.N. efforts to hold elections.
According to an article about what is coming in Libya, about the imminent action of armed groups linked to ISIS, Al-Qaeda in the Sahel region of Africa, but also in Egypt and Libya, Greece can play a decisive role, in the event of the withdrawal of the Russians mercenaries.
Because nothing is accidental in these cases, Turkish media reports that "the West will once again unleash the hordes of Jihadists especially in these countries, to impose its will and get rid of unwanted leaders."
"Without greater international support and regional cooperation, instability will also increase towards the coastal countries of West Africa," UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Martha Poby told a Security Council meeting recently.
If to this whole scenario we add the start of mining in the sea in the Gulf of Sirte by Haftar, in parallel with the mining in the south of Crete, and the Turks are preparing for "charkes" with their floating drilling rigs accompanied by the helicopter carrier Anatoli, then the area will catch fire in the coming months.
The Haftar regime demands the expulsion of the Turkish forces and the Jihadists from this country as a start, and if that could be done, then the Libyan Marshal would probably also be asked to expel the Russian mercenaries from his own territory.
This is a demand that has been expressed by the entire international community for the return to normalcy in Libya for months as a basic condition.
In all this scenario, Greece could assume a mediating role, even by sending a special force, together with Egypt, and the USA, for a return to normality at some point in Libya with a specific withdrawal date.
Only the withdrawal of all forces from this country, and the holding of elections with foreign observers would give a hope of returning to a normal situation, in a Libya that has been divided in two since 2012.