Russia discusses nuclear aid to Libya

Dec. 21, 2007 at 1:25 PM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The Russian foreign minister said he would discuss plans to offer nuclear assistance to Libya when he arrives in Tripoli this weekend.

Moscow is sending Sergei Lavrov to Tripoli on Dec. 23 to discuss nuclear assistance by Moscow and to renew strategic cooperation with Libya, Med Basin Newsline reported Friday.

"We are ready to help Libya realize its enduring right to attain civilian nuclear energy," a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Lavrov's discussions will focus on conventional and nuclear energy cooperation amid increased oil cooperation with Russia's Gazprom and Tatneft oil and gas companies that are responsible for developing Libya's oil fields.

Moscow said it will also assist Libya with its new role as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for 2008.

France announced in December it would sell nuclear reactors to Libya, a move backed by the United States.

Russia began shipments of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr nuclear facility in Iran on Dec. 18.

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