Close ties

Putin was speaking following a meeting with the head of the Izhmash factory, which manufactures Kalashnikov rifles.

Russian officials said early this week that negotiations were under way with Younes Jaber, the Libyan defence minister, in Moscow over the sale of Russian weapons.

Moscow and the North African state enjoyed close ties during the Cold War, and much of Libya's arsenal was purchased from the Soviet Union in its last years.

Moscow and Tripoli have stepped up their contacts in recent years.

In 2008, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi visited the Russian capital in his first visit to Moscow since the 1980s.