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Russia to discuss with Libya fate of its oil deals

Russia has invited members of Libya’s interim government to Moscow to discuss the future of Russian energy contracts in the country stricken by six-months of civil war, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

“We will discuss all of this,” Lavrov told reporters after being asked about the fate of Russian oil contracts agreed with Libya’s deposed leader Muammar Qaddafi. “They (Libya’s interim government) offered to hold contacts, and we have invited their respective representatives to Moscow, at their request.”

“We will discuss all this with them.”

Russia’s top oil and gas producers Gazprom, Gazprom Neft and Tatneft had invested hundreds of millions of dollars exploration in Libya before suspending operations when an uprising broke out earlier this year against Qaddafi’s rule.

Aram Shegunts, director general of the Russia-Libya Business Council, told Reuters in August that Russian energy firms are likely to be barred from resuming work in Libya after NATO-backed rebels ousted Qaddafi who has been in power since 1969.

Russia recognized Libya’s ruling interim council this month.