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Libya planning to buy arms from Russia: Report

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Russian-made S-300PMU2 air defence system which Libya intends to buy.

MOSCOW (AFP): Libya is seeking to buy more than two billion dollars worth of Russian arms including 20 fighter planes, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday, citing a military-diplomatic source.

The report came as Libya's defence minister was due to visit Russia in the latest sign of renewed cooperation between Moscow and the North African state, which enjoyed close ties during the Cold War.

Libya is ready to buy around 20 fighter planes, at least two divisions of S-300PMU2 air defence systems and several dozen T-90S tanks from Russia, and also to modernise more than T-70 tanks and other weapons, the source said.

The source told Interfax that more than one billion dollars of the deal was for combat aircraft such as SU-35s, SU-30s and Yak-130s. The news agency put the total size of the deal at two billion dollars (1.4 billion Euros).

Earlier, a senior Russian official had confirmed that Moscow was counting on signing arms deals with Libya during Tuesdays visit by the country's defence minister, General Abu-Bakr Yunis Jaber.

We expect his visit will not just be of a political nature, but will also allow the signing of contracts on the delivery of arms and military hardware, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told the RIA-Novosti state news agency last week.

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