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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Russia Arms Qaddaffi

Isn't Libya's President Qadaffi a reformed character now? Hasn't he changed his aggressive ways and become a friend of the West? Yeah right.

From Kommersant

Hat Tip Once Upon a Time in the West

Russia’s state weapons exporter, Rosoboronexport, is elaborating a contract to sell weapons to Libya for a total worth of more than $2.2 billion. Libya that has purchased no armaments of Russia for over 15 years may emerge as one of ten top buyers now. The bulk of the acquisition will be formed by air defense systems, more powerful than needed for regional conflicts.

The contract for weapons delivery to Libya could be sealed already this year, during the visit of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to Tripoli. The budget of the deal will exceed $2.2 billion. Russia is expected to pardon Libyan debt, and Tripoli will undertake to widen cooperation in fuel, energy and nuclear fields in addition to military and engineering contacts. The parties, however, still disagree about the actual amount of the debt. Moscow insists on $4.4 billion, while Tripoli acknowledges no more than $1.723 billion.

For Russia, Libya will probably become the second country of North Africa in budget of military contracts. The leader is Algeria (around $8 billion), and Russia also supplies air defense systems to Morocco and negotiates the delivery of air defense systems and MiG-29SMT fighters to Egypt.


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