Libya to Purchase $1.8Bln in Weapons

Libya has signed an arms deal with Russia worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

"Only yesterday we signed a contract worth 1.3 billion euros," Putin said, RIA-Novosti reported. "And it's not just for small arms," he told Vladimir Grodetsky, head of Izhmash, which makes assault rifles, machine guns and other weapons.

"I know that yesterday through your political influence and effort a very important contract for us was signed that will keep one of our plants busy for at least two years," Grodetsky said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Neither he nor Putin specified what weapons Libya intended to purchase.

Interfax quoted a military-diplomatic source as saying Libya was prepared to buy about 20 fighter planes and S-300PMU2 air defense systems. The agency said Tuesday that Libya might also buy T-90S tanks and modernize more than 140 T-72 tanks and other weapons.

The deal was signed after talks with Libyan Defense Minister Major General Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr earlier this week in Moscow.

(Reuters, MT, AP)

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