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Russia may soon resume military cooperation with Libya

(Xinhua)

16:33, August 22, 2012

MOSCOW, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Russia may soon resume military-technical cooperation with Libya, a federal agency supervising the country's international military cooperation said.

In an interview published on Wednesday, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy director of the Federal Service for military-technical cooperation told Interfax news agency that a Libyan delegation was to visit Moscow "in the nearest future" to discuss possible cooperation.

Dzirkaln said the two sides would first focus on restoring unfulfilled contracts that were signed long ago.

The Libyan army has a large number of Russian and Soviet-made weapons and equipment which shouldn't be dumped, Dzirkaln said, adding that the experience of several other countries has proved it.

"It happened in Afghanistan and now it happens in Libya," he was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Russia was willing to continue military contracts with Libya and now "everything will depend on" Libya, Dzirkaln said.

Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport said in June the new Libyan authorities would like to resume military cooperation with Moscow.

Rosoboronexport deputy chief Igor Sevastyanov told reporters that his company was ready to resume cooperation with Libya, including shipments for Libya's armed forces.

Moscow had signed about 2 billion U.S. dollars worth of contracts with the late Muammar Gaddafi's deposed government and another 2-billion-dollar packages have been in negotiation, according to the state-owned arms exporter.

Moscow put these contracts on hold in February 2011 in line with the UN sanctions against the Gaddafi regime.

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