Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 60

A top Russian diplomat called March 25 for the UN Security Council to review its economic sanctions against Libya, leveled in 1992 for Tripoli’s refusal to hand over two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. Andrei Vdovin urged the Council to consider positive steps that Moscow believes Tripoli has taken toward meeting UN demands. Vdovin also confirmed that Boris Yeltsin had sent a letter to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi through Russian foreign trade minister Oleg Davydov that expressed Moscow’s desire to help Libya out of its "dead-end situation." The Libyan news agency JANA had reported over the weekend that Yeltsin expressed support for Libya "in facing the unjust measures imposed on it" by the Council.

Davydov was in Libya for talks that included repayment of Libya’s $3.5 billion debt to Russia (incurred during the Soviet period). He reportedly signed agreements for $1.5 billion worth of projects, to be launched once sanctions are lifted. (UPI & Interfax, March 25) Russia’s Libya policies thus parallel those it has pursued with Iraq, which also is in debt to Moscow and subject to UN sanctions. Davydov’s arrival in Tripoli, moreover, coincided with a March 21 Security Council review of the sanctions on Libya at which sanctions were retained and after which the United States called for them to be expanded. (Reuter, March 21)

Ukrainian Parliament Postpones Debate on Crimean Constitution.