MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday promised Libya's leader Moamer Gathafi that Moscow would buttress economic and military ties with Tripoli, the government news service said.
Putin and Gathafi spoke on the telephone and agreed to continue "the useful confidential dialogue between the two countries and noted mutual interest in boosting cooperation in both civil and military spheres," a statement said.
Putin "stressed the need to realize the accords cinched during the recent Russo-Libyan summit and affirmed that as prime minister he intended to give it all due attention," it added.
Libya has had its debt to the Soviet Union waived in return for important contracts to Russian companies.
These include the Russian state railroad company's plans to construct a 600-kilometre (375-mile) rail link between the cities of Syrte and Benghazi, which is estimated to cost over two billion euros.
The two countries also signed four accords on economic and financial cooperation, exchange of confidential information and promotion and protection of investments.
Libya had been an important ally of the Soviet Union and a faithful client of Soviet arms. However, ties between the two nations cooled after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.