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Russia could lose $4 billion in Libya arms deals

28 february 2011, 00:55
0
Photo courtesy of lenta.ru website
Photo courtesy of lenta.ru website
Russia could lose almost $4.0 billion in arms export contracts to Libya after Moscow joined other world powers in slapping an arms embargo on Moamer Kadhafi's regime, Agence France-Presse reports.

A military source was quoted by Interfax as saying that Russia had contracts from Libya worth $2.0 billion while negotiations had been in progress for deals worth $1.8 billion more.

"Among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Libya is one of the main buyers of Russian weapons," the source, which was not identified, told the agency.

On Saturday Russia joined other UN Security Council members in ordering an arms embargo against Libya and other sanctions.

Another report last week said Russia could lose a total of up to $10 billion in arms sales from the wave of unrest currently destabilising regimes in north Africa and the Middle East.

Without confirming the figures, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov confirmed Moscow was deeply troubled by the potential impact of the Arab revolts on its weapons exports.

"We are really alarmed by this. We would like contracts that were signed and (military) arrangements to be implemented," Serdyukov said in the city of Orenburg, quoted by Interfax.

The Interfax source recalled that Libyan Defence Minister Yunis Jaber had gone on a major spending spree during a January 2010 visit to Moscow, signing 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) worth of deals including for six Yak-130 military planes.

Meanwhile, Libya had also been expected to become the first foreign buyer of Russia's new Su-35 fighter and a contract worth $800 million for 12-15 planes had been ready for signing, the source said.

A range of other contracts for helicopters and missile systems were also being discussed.

Libya had also shown great interest in Russia's new S-400 missile defence system, its T-90S tanks, submarines and rocket launchers, the source said.

The Soviet Union had delivered a huge amount of military hardware to Libya before the collapse of the USSR, including 350 fighter jets between 1981 and 1985 as well as 4,000 military vehicles and tanks.

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