Friday, February 03, 2012

Arms: Russia loses $4 billion in Libya because of Gaddafi

Russia loses $4 billion in Libya because of Gaddafi

Russia has lost $4 billion due to the loss of arms contracts with Libya as a result of the UN's arms shipments embargo. Anatoly Isaikin, the General Director of Russia's defense export giant Rosoboronexport, said that Russia had concluded arms contracts worth $2 billion with the previous administration of Libya. "We could conclude more contracts for the same amount," the official told Interfax.

According to Isaikin, Russia stopped executing all defense contracts with Libya following the UN embargo. Moscow plans to conduct negotiations on the subject with the new Libyan administration as soon as the embargo is lifted. The negotiations will solve the fate of the previously concluded contracts, as well as other contracts, that were prepared for signing. "We do not build illusions about it," the official said.

In the meantime, foreign media say that Russia's similar arms contracts with Syria may end up the same. This is exactly the reason why Moscow is unwilling to approve the resolution of the Arab League in New York, Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote.

Russia has recently vetoed the draft resolution of the UN Security Council, which urged to end arms shipments to Damascus. Western journalists concluded that Russia had a number of highly lucrative deals with Bashar Assad's regime. The export of defense products and the energy business are the key branches of the Russian industry, the German newspaper said. In addition, Russia's army base in the Syrian port of Tartus is the country's only base in the Mediterranean Sea.

The strategy of trusting the old ties did not justify itself in Libya. Some experts say that Moscow's tough position on Syria may cause serious damage to the Russian Federation, the publication also said.

In September 2011, a number of Western publications calculated Russia's possible losses in Libya. In addition to $4 billion, which Russia lost as a result of the above-mentioned sanctions, Gaddafi's government ordered anti-vessel complexes in the amount of 600 million euros.

It was also said that Russia's several arms contracts with Syria totaling $2.5 billion were not likely to happen.

As long as the sanctions against Syria have not been approved yet, Russia will continue shipping military hardware to Damascus. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the Chariot vessel had delivered several tons of ammunition to Syria.

The contracts were signed and they must be executed, the minister said. Lavrov added that Assad was not Russia's friend. He also said that he was certain that Russian arms were not used against the demonstrators who want the Syrian president to step down.