Libya is negotiating with Russia a new deal to buy Russian weapons and to build 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, conveyed Tripoli was interested in purchasing Russian surface-to-air missiles, tanks, helicopters and fighter jets with a total value of over US$2 billion.
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.