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  • Following more than half-a-decade of conflict, Libya is split between two rival governments.  FILE

    Following more than half-a-decade of conflict, Libya is split between two rival governments. FILE | Photo: Reuters

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Last year, trade relations between Russia and Libya were close to non-existent at $74 million, but things are slowly beginning to improve.

The Russian Government has plans to reinstate certain ties with Libya.

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In an interview with Kommersant, the head of the Russian contact team on Libya – Lev Dengov – said the government is reviewing the reestablishment of economic relations with Libya.

Infrastructural projects stalled when former President Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated and civil war outbreak.

"We plan to resign the contracts signed during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. This includes the previous agreements in the transport sector, construction of railways, energy, electrification and a number of others," Dengov said.

Since the death of Gaddafi, Russia has lost billions of dollars worth of contracts in Libya. 

In 2008, Russian Railways signed a €2.2 billion contract to construct the 550-kilometer Sirte-Benghazi rail line. There were also oil and gas deals, in addition to electrification and peaceful nuclear development negotiations.

These plans were disrupted by the Libyan civil war that started in 2011.

Last year, trade relations between Russia and Libya were close to non-existent at $74 million, but things are slowly beginning to improve.

In February, Russian oil company Rosneft signed a crude oil purchasing agreement with Libya’s National Oil Corporation.

Following more than half-a-decade of conflict, Libya is split between two rival governments. The western region of the country is under the rule of Fayez al-Sarraj’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, while General Khalifa Haftar controls the eastern region, Tobruk.

The United Nations supports the Tripoli government and General Haftar is supported by the Libyan National Army and a number of countries including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

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Dengov shared that Libya had an interest in purchasing Russian weapons, but insisted that Russian will adhere to the UN Security Council embargo. 

“We do not take anyone’s side in this conflict and do not want to arm one to the detriment of others. We would like everyone to be in approximately equal positions,” he said.

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