Russia will resume civilian nuclear cooperation with Libya by completing the construction of an atomic research centre and power station, a Russian official was cited as saying Wednesday by Interfax.
The energy field, including nuclear, is one of the priorities identified by a Russian-Libyan commission on trade and economic cooperation which met in Tripoli last week, said Deputy Emergencies Minister Yury Brazhnikov.
The minister is a member of the commission, jointly headed by Russian Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu. The Soviet Union began to build nuclear infrastructure for Libya before its break-up in 1991.
"It is well known that cooperation between Libya and the Soviet Union was dominated by arms sales, but now both sides have decided to focus on trade and economic ties," Brazhnikov said. Moscow has drawn Washington's ire in recent years by cooperating with Iran in building nuclear reactors.
The United States accused Russia of supplying Iran technology which Tehran can use to develop nuclear weapons. The Russian-Libyan commission announced last week that the two countries would sign several economic contracts worth over $600 million by the end of this year.
The value of the planned contracts in fact amounts to one billion dollars, according to Brazhnikov, including $650 million dollars for the reconstruction of a thermal power plant in Tripoli.
Russia resumed economic and diplomatic ties with its long-standing ally in May last year after the UN Security Council suspended the seven-year sanctions, which included a ban on imports of oil-related equipment and a freeze on financial assets abroad.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)