Libya Offers Russia Military Base

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October 31, 2008 @ 22:55 UTC

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Countries:
Libya
Candidates:
none
Issues:
International Relations
 

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will visit Moscow today, where he wil reportedly offer the Russians to host a naval base in his country in order to counterbalance U.S. interests in the region.

Gaddafi wants to deepen ‘a budding energy and military partnership with Moscow,’ the Middle Eastern-based Al Arabiya reported, and ‘counterbalance his fast-expanding relations with the West during his three-day visit.’

“The Russian military presence will be a guarantee of non-aggression against Libya from the United States, which is not in a hurry to embrace Gaddafi despite gestures of reconciliation,” business daily Kommersant said in a report published today.

Russia and Libya were allies for years, but their relationship deteriorated in recent years also because the United States seemed to open up to Libya.

Gaddafi believes, however, that his country could fare well when befriended with Russia.

It is an old game, one leaders in this region have played for decades: use the two main powers in the region to outbid each other. If you cannot get something for one, you may get it from the other. Both will do whatever it takes to earn your support, which means that you can get a free ride.

The question is whether the United States wants to play that game with Libya which is, after all, a reasonably irrelevant and minor power. Then again, Gadaffi has long supported terrorists who have sometimes succeeded in attacking American targets.

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