By Nigel Ash
Tripoli, 2 June 2013:
Libya has denied reports that it is seeking a resumption of Russians arms supplies.
The official spokesman . . .[restrict]for the Ministry of Defence in Tripoli, Adel Barasi, today told the Libya Herald that there was no truth whatsoever in the rumours that Libya had approached the Russians, asking Moscow to lift its arms embargo and restart weapons supplies.
A Russian arms executive was quoted at the weekend by Moscow news agency RIA Novosti to the effect that he had been approached at a Jordanian arms fair by a representative of the Libyan government.
Sergei Chemezov, CEO of defence firm Russian Technologies (Rostekhnologii) said the individual, whom he did not name, gave him a formal letter requesting that Russian armament shipments recommence.
Russia, which was Qaddafi’s primary provider of weaponry, reportedly lost contracts worth $4 billion as a result of the Revolution.
One senior diplomatic source in Tripoli has pointed out that even if the Libyan government were interested in continuing to use Russian equipment for its armed forces, which he doubted, it was most unlikely that it would seek to revive defence equipment deals at a time when Moscow is continuing to supply the Assad regime with arms. [/restrict]