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Friday, September 9, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Libya's National Transitional Council drops Russia as weapons supplier

MOSCOW — Libya's new regime has dismissed the prospect of Russia as a future military supplier.


Officials said the National Transitional Council, which ousted Col. Moammar Gadhafi, would not purchase Russian weapons. They said Tripoli would instead select Western platforms and equipment.

"Libya will not need weaponry in the future," NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil said.

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In a Sept. 8 interview with Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, Abdul Jalil did not cite Libya's defense requirements. He said NTC's policy was not based on any hostility to the Kremlin, Middle East Newsline reported.

"Russia supported our revolution from the very beginning when it did not use its veto right against UN [Security Council] resolutions 1970 and 1973," Abdul Jalil said. "Russia will have its own role in the future of our country, reflecting its support of this revolution."

Libya has long been a major defense client of Moscow. Russia's state-owned Rosoboronexport has determined that it would lose $4 billion in current and prospective weapons deals with Tripoli.

Analysts said the loss of the Russian market for Libya was not unexpected. They said the Kremlin was regarded as a supporter of the Gadhafi regime.

"It is obvious that the new Libyan authorities will buy weaponry primarily from France and the United Kingdom and secondly from Italy and the United States to thank them for their direct support in ousting Gadhafi," Russian Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies director Ruslan Pukhov said.

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