Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 62

Russian foreign trade minister Oleg Davydov, just back from a six-day visit to Tripoli, declared yesterday that Moscow will pursue extensive trade relations with Libya. He also said that Russia would lobby to win a more favorable hearing in the UN Security Council for Libya, which has been subject to UN sanctions since 1992. Davydov justified Moscow’s willingness to do business with Tripoli by charging that the West, despite UN sanctions, "continues to develop economic cooperation… while Russian-Libyan trade and economic relations have come to a complete halt." He announced that Russia and Libya would embark on joint ventures worth a whopping $10-11 billion, to include construction of railroads and power stations, repair of gas pipelines, and the upgrading of industrial plants built earlier with Russian aid. Libya will pay in convertible currency. Davydov also said that the two sides had reached an agreement in principle on repayment of Tripoli’s debt of more than $2 billion to Russia. (Reuter, March 28)