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11:20 AM, April 20, 2015

Russia will start supplying weapons to support Libyan government to fight ISIS if United Nations weapons embargo on Libya is lifted, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and special envoy to Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters Thursday.

"The issue will be discussed at the UN Security Council. The basic understanding - and we share this - is that there are legally elected authorities in Libya. Of course, we would like to really help Libya’s authorities to strengthen the state power bodies, army and law enforcement forces," Bogdanov said.

"We would like the Libyan government to express the interests of the whole society. This demands contacts with the constructive opposition. But time moves on and terrorists and extremists use it to enhance their positions and authority. This demands all the measures to make the fight against terrorism more efficient and envisages the real support for Libya’s authorities in this struggle," he said.

"In this context, it is very important that the UN Security Council has an understanding and finds consensus on what should be done so that this aid does not fall into wrong hands," Bogdanov said.

Speaking on whether Russia’s supplies are possible after the embargo is lifted, the diplomat said: "Yes, of course." "Traditionally, we had very successful military and technical cooperation with Libya. We are ready to resume this cooperation but for this the common understanding in the UN Security Council is needed," he said.

Egypt and Libya have both requested that the arms embargo, which has been in place since 2011, be lifted so that Libya can combat the threat of ISIS and bring order to the civil war that has raged for nearly a year.

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