"A cooperation agreement was signed in the area of the peaceful use of
civilian nuclear, particularly in the design and construction of reactors
and the supply of nuclear fuel," Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Rahman
The Russian sources said Libya was planning to purchase at least $2.5
billion worth of military platforms and weapons from Moscow. The sources
platforms would include the S-300PMU2 air and missile defense system, the
Su-30MKI fighter-jet, Type 20382 naval corvette and the Type 636
"Among the new types of weaponry, Libya is interested in purchasing air
defense systems, combat aircraft and warships," Mikhail Dmitriyev, director
of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said.
But Libya has also sought to host a Russian military presence in an
effort to increase deterrence. The sources said Gadhafi was considering
offering the use of the Benghazi port to the Russian Navy.
In October 2008, a Russian Navy warship docked outside the Libyan port
of Tripoli in a resumption of naval cooperation. Officials said additional
Russian Navy vessels would dock outside Tripoli over the next few months.
"Russia is interested in acquiring access to naval bases in the
Mediterranean as this would expand the operational reach of our navy,"
former Russian Navy deputy commander Adm. Ivan Kapitanets said.
Still, the sources said, Gadhafi has been under heavy U.S. pressure not
to conclude a weapons deal with Moscow. They said Gadhafi has failed to
fulfill his April 2008 pledge to then-President Vladimir Putin to purchase
weapons from Russia. At the time, Putin agreed to cancel Libya's $4.7
billion debt to the former Soviet Union.
At this point, Gadhafi could agree to the return of Russian technicians
to restore damaged or obsolete Soviet weapons in Libya, the sources said.
They said many
of the Soviet aircraft, main battle tanks and artillery delivered to Libya
in the 1970s and 1980s were deemed inoperable.
"We've discussed a series of strategic questions," Putin said after his
meeting Gadhafi on Nov. 1.
In 2008, the sources said, Russia concluded a report on Libya's military
requirements. The report urged Libya to modernize its air force,
particularly MiG-23, MiG-25, Su-17 and Su-24 combat aircraft. Tripoli was
also told to upgrade or replace its fleet of 60 S-125 Pechora air defense
"We will pay particular attention to the modernization of weaponry
delivered to Libya during the Soviet era," Dmitriyev said.