Russia turns Libya debts to deals

Moscow scraps $4.5bn in Libyan Soviet-era debt in exchange for business deals.

    Putin's trip to Libya was the first by a Russian president [AFP]

    Other deals included a co-operation deal between Russian gas giant Gazprom and Libya's national energy company about joint exploration and production projects in Libyan oil and gas reserves.


    Weapon imports


    Gazprom's press service said the company would also construct new power stations and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Libya.


    Kudrin did not give further details on other contracts signed, but Russian news agencies said one of them was for Russian Railways, which will build a 500km line through Libya over four years for around $3.2 billion dollars.


    Libya was an important ally of the Soviet Union and a major importer of Soviet weaponry.


    Diplomatic and trade relations were weakened after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.


    Putin's trip to Libya on Wednesday was the first by a Russian president and was hailed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as " historic, strategic and very important."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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