Kremlin: Gadaffi to start three-day visit on Friday

Moscow  - Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi will travel to Moscow on Friday for his first visit since 1985, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

Gaddafi is to discuss weapons purchases and energy ties with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had "no doubt" Gaddafi's visit would be a success.

Moscow has made a push to renew Soviet-era relations with the North African state since President Vladimir Putin traveled to Tripoli in April.

A contract of more than 2 billion dollars for the delivery of Russian SU-30 fighter jets, T-90 battle tanks and other weapons to Libya is to be signed in meetings with Gaddafi, business daily Vedemosti said last Monday, citing a source at Russia's state technology agency.

Advanced Russian Tor-M2E surface-to-air missile systems may be part of the weapons deal, the paper said.

Moscow in April agreed to write off Tripoli's 4.6 billion dollar debt in exchange for various business contracts in Libya.

Russia's railway monopoly has already sealed a deal to build 554 kilometres of rail in the country.

Russian energy giant Gazprom also signed a provisional agreement with Libya's National Oil Corporation on joint ventures in the region. Libya is considered the continent's fourth largest country in estimated gas reserves, but remains relatively untapped. (dpa)

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