Russia to lose $4 bn in arms exports to Libya: official

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia is to lose $4 billion in arms exports to Libya due to the imposition of UN sanctions against Moamer Kadhafi's regime, the head of state industrial holding Russian Technologies said Thursday.

State arms exporter "Rosoboronexport's lost income from the situation in Libya amounted to $4 billion," Sergei Chemezov was quoted as saying by the Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies.

Russia was initially slow to echo Western condemnation of Kadhafi amid his bloody crackdown on an uprising but on Saturday it joined other UN Security Council members in ordering an arms embargo against Libya and other sanctions.

The Arab world is the main export market for Russian arms after traditional partners China and India.

Libyan Defence Minister Yunis Jaber had gone on a major spending spree during a January 2010 visit to Moscow, signing 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) worth of deals including for six Yak-130 military planes.

Meanwhile, Libya had also been expected to become the first foreign buyer of Russia's new Su-35 fighter and a contract worth $800 million for 12-15 planes had been ready for signing, reports have said.

A range of other contracts for helicopters and missile systems were also being discussed.

© 2011 AFP

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