By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 12 October 2017:
An official delegation led by the Presidency Council’s deputy minister of communciations and transport, Hisham Bushikwat, has had talks in Moscow with the deputy Russian minister of commerce and industry, Osmakov Vasily Sergeevich, on relaunching trade between the two countries. The team comprises economic, commercial, industrial and agricultural officials.
Yesterday’s meeting was the first of several that are planned over the next few days. Today, the delegation was due to meet the Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
The Libyan side is hoping to reactivate agreements in various fields, notably transportation (the railways and aviation), power generation and electricity networks, agriculture and the supply of livestock. It is particularly interested in ensuring the return of Russian companies to resume projects stalled since 2011, although the Russians have made it clear on several occasions that losses incurred as a result of the revolution have to be addressed as part of any return.
The Libyan team has also said that it is interested in using the visit to promote cultural and scientific cooperation as well youth and sports events.
However, the matter of the Russia’s embassy return to Tripoli could prose a problem. According to a communications ministry statement yesterday, Bushikwat, while calling for it to return, also said that trade ties would not be able to develop while it stayed away.
Bogdanov, however, told the Libya Herald a fortnight ago that the embassy’s return was “currently not on the agenda” and that it would happen only when the security situation was fully normalised. In any event, before that could occur, a new and secure embassy complex would have to be built, he said.