Same Nations Shelling Gadhafi Peddled Him Weapons

Before the uprising, France, UK, Italy and Russia all vied to make sales
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2011 9:23 AM CDT
Libyan rebels, prepare to fire rockets during fighting against pro-Gadhafi fighters, in Sidra town, eastern Libya, on Wednesday March 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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(Newser) – Some of the very same European countries now leading the charge to destroy Moammar Gadhafi’s weapons were pushing each other out of the way to sell him those same weapons just months earlier, according to a survey of international arms sales. France, the UK, Russia, and Italy have all been jockeying for position as Libya’s top arms dealer for years, Miller-McCune reports, and Russia alone says it will lose $4 billion because of the UN weapons embargo.

Though sales of conventional arms have been “very low,” since the embargo was lifted in 2003, an EU report from January indicated that France, Italy and Germany had been “steadily increasing their business ties with Libya.” Russia, the top arms dealer to Libya, will lose $4 billion thanks to the new embargo, the director of the state-run weapon exports company said Friday. The US once tried to sell arms to Libya as well, but Congress shot the deal down.

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