12:00 AM, February 2, 2010
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Moscow has agreed to sell Libya weapons in a $1.8 billion deal. Mr. Putin made the announcement Saturday while meeting with the head of Izhmash, a major Russian gun manufacturer. He said the contract was signed Friday, and covers both small arms and more complex weapons. According to Russian news agency Libya was ready to buy about 20 fighter planes from Moscow, as well as air defense systems and several dozen tanks. Libyan Defense Minister Major General Younis Jaber met with officials in Moscow earlier this week. The deal with Libya follows a report by Russia's state-owned arms export monopoly claiming overseas sales of military equipment rose 10 percent in 2009.