RABAT, September 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia has good chances to develop economic projects with a new Libya, Russian president’s African envoy Mikhail Margelov said on Sunday.
Margelov arrived here earlier on Sunday as part of his African tour. He held talks with Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Taieb Fassi-Fehri and handed over to the Moroccan foreign minister a written address of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to King of Morocco Mohammed VI.
“My experience of talks with the leaders of the National Transitional Council of Libya proves that it has brought together experienced politicians, and experienced politicians always defend national interests of their countries and never serve national interest of other states,” Margelov said in an interview with Itar-Tass. “It is absolutely clear that it is in Libya’s national interests to do their best to have its international cooperation diversified. Naturally, the National Transitional Council of Libya is not interested in allowing any other state of a group of states to dominate in the Libyan economy. In this connection, it quite logical to hope that Russia has real, good chances to develop economic projects with Libya.”
“The current process of dismantling the regime of sanctions that were imposed against Muammar Gaddafi gives the National Transitional Council of Libya more and more financial tools in its hands and opens up more spheres where it can resume old contracts and develop new ones,” the Russian envoy went on. “And here much will depend on our own promptness and efficiency.”
“It is a secret to no one that spare parts and munitions to weapons manufacture in the Soviet times, so abundant in Libya, can be bought in CIS countries and in countries that used to be members of the Warsaw Pact,” Margelov noted. “So, Russia will have to offer competitive prices and quick deliveries.”
The same, in his words, is applicable to the oil sector. “It is clear that our companies know how to work in Africa and are able to do so. So, again we will have to be quick enough in taking decisions and overcoming bureaucratic obstacles that might arise,” he stressed and at the same time called not to jump at conclusions and not to politicize Russia’s economic relations with Libya. “We are waiting for a Moscow visit by Libya’s minister of energy and natural resources, with whom we shall have detailed discussions,” he added.
“As for a contract of Russian Railways Co (RZD), I am optimistic on this subject because I think it is more profitable for the National Transitional Council of Libya to ask Russian Railways to complete the construction of a railway section the company was building that to establish relations with any of its competitors right from the beginning,” Margelov said.
“So far I see no logic that might push decision-makers in contemporary Libya towards a refusal to cooperate with Russia,” the Russian envoy said and added that he was rather a “cautious optimist” in issues concerning prospects for economic cooperation between Moscow and Tripoli. “So far, we cannot say that there is a single agency in Libya responsible for decision-making,” he noted. “And Libya’s key problem now is not its future relations with Russia but rather in its domestic political settlement.”
“Only a government formed on the basis of counterpoises, the one that includes the maximal number of all segments of the Libyan political spectrum will be able to serve national interests of Libya in the transition period declared by the National Transitional Council of Libya,” he concluded.