First Published: 2008-07-31

 
Libya in talks with Russia for arms, nuclear deal
 

Russian PM says Libyan leadership confirms its interest in acquiring high-quality Russian arms.

 

Middle East Online

Libya aims to strengthen its armed forces

MOSCOW - Libya is negotiating with Moscow to buy Russian weapons and for the construction of a nuclear power station, the countries' prime ministers said on Thursday.

"The Libyan leadership confirmed its interest in acquiring high-quality products from the Russian defence industry," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying by Interfax and ITAR-TASS after a meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi.

"We reached agreement on concrete steps that will enable strengthening of the Libyan armed forces thanks to bilateral cooperation," the Libyan prime minister said.

Quoted by RIA Novosti, the Libyan premier also said: "We are working on the project of creating a nuclear power plant, to be used for electricity generation."

A Russian defence ministry source, quoted by Interfax, said Tripoli was interested in buying Russian surface-to-air missiles, tanks, helicopters and fighter jets with a total value over two billion dollars (1.3 billion euros).

In April during a visit to Libya by Putin, Russia's president at the time, Moscow agreed to cancel billions of dollars of Libyan Soviet-era debt in exchange for multi-billion-dollar contracts with Russian companies.

On Thursday the two prime ministers also discussed cooperation in the oil and gas sectors between their petroleum-rich countries.

The Libyan premier said Tripoli had established a "special relationship" with Russian gas giant Gazprom, which has been in talks to develop gas projects in Libya, Interfax reported.

Gazprom has signed a cooperation agreement with Libya's national energy company, while Russia's rail monopoly, Russian Railways, also signed a 2.2 billion euro contract to build a 600-kilometre (370-mile) railway line connecting the Libyan cities of Surt and Benghazi.

At Thursday's meeting, Mahmudi invited Putin to Libya in August for a ceremony marking the start of the railway's construction.

Putin also thanked Mahmudi for Tripoli's decision to release an official of Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil company, who had been detained in Libya since November 2007.

Lukoil said in a statement Thursday that Alexander Tsygankov, head of its Libya office, had returned to Moscow after being held for eight months without charges.

 

Extremist groups capture last major regime holdout in northwest Syria

Deadly fighting rages in Yemen southern towns

‘Islamic State’ suicide bombers target Iraq-Jordan crossing

Four Egypt Islamists killed while preparing bombs

France opens preliminary probe into forced labour allegations in Qatar

‘Islamic State’ kills Iraq senior officers in Anbar province

Entrepreneurs encourage people to ‘buy Syrian’

Over 100 children killed in Yemen since March 26

Libya militia alliance 'carries out air raids' against IS

UN 'confident' rebels will sign Mali peace deal

Petraeus gets two years probation for info leak

Iranian ships turn back from Yemen

Palestinians mourn as Jews celebrate

UN chief set to appoint Mauritanian diplomat as Yemen envoy

Obama takes 'full responsibility' for deaths of Qaeda hostages in US operation

Turkey warns Austria over decision to condemn ‘Armenian genocide’

Yemen conflict poses dangers across Gulf of Aden

Hopes for final deal on second day of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

Security tightened at Saudi shopping malls

US returns stolen Egypt artifacts

EU mulls military action against human traffickers in Libya

Libyan journalist shot dead in Benghazi

Arms experts warn of 'Faustian bargain' with Iran

Fresh Saudi-led air strikes target Yemen rebels

Rebel-IS clashes in Syria kill at least 42 fighters in 24 hours

Who’s more dangerous: Jihadists who left their countries or those staying at home?

France foils 'imminent' attack by jihadist sympathiser

Algeria army kills three armed Islamists west of capital

Israel removes Palestinian teen's name from memorial wall

Egyptian businessman testifies at Al-Jazeera retrial

Kenya asks donors to save world’s largest refugee camp

Sanctions, possible Congress intervention to dominate fresh nuclear talks

Arab army chiefs kick off work on building regional force

One year after agreement, Palestinian reconciliation hits rock bottom

Arab coalition resumes airstrikes against Huthi rebels

UN member states urged to protect Iraqi cultural sites

London mulls ways to help Europe's refugee crisis

Finalising of Iran nuclear deal set to begin

Saudi–led coalition declares end to Yemen air war

Palestine teenager inscribed on Israel memorial wall

Deadly attack targets busy restaurant in Somalia capital

War in Yemen raises profile of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Libya condemns 'death smugglers' after shipwreck

Sudan security agents detain opposition activist

Main Kurdish party vows to be 'sultan' Erdogan's nightmare