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Russia to lose $4 bn in arms exports to Libya: official

EADS to say no tanker appeal Friday: source
New York (AFP) March 3, 2011 - European aerospace giant EADS is set to announce Friday it will not appeal a US Air Force decision to award a major tanker contract to US rival Boeing, a person close to the matter told AFP Thursday. "Apparently, there will not be an appeal from EADS," the person said, adding that the company's would announce its decision Friday. A spokesman for EADS North America told AFP Thursday that "we haven't made a decision yet." After a lengthy, controversy-marred contest, the Air Force awarded the $30-plus billion contract for up to 179 aerial refueling tankers to Boeing on February 24, saying that "Boeing was a clear winner." The EADS North America team was debriefed Monday by the Air Force on the decision. The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, parent of France-based Airbus, has the right to protest the decision with the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress. Technically, EADS has 10 days from the award of the contract to lodge any protest.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) March 3, 2011
Russia is to lose $4 billion in arms exports to Libya due to the imposition of UN sanctions against Moamer Kadhafi's regime, one of its chief weapons clients in the Middle East, an official said Thursday.

State arms exporter "Rosoboronexport's lost income from the situation in Libya amounted to $4 billion," the head of state industrial holding Russian Technologies Sergei Chemezov was quoted as saying by the Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies.

Russia was initially slow to echo Western condemnation of Kadhafi amid his bloody crackdown on an uprising but on Saturday it joined other UN Security Council members in ordering an arms embargo against Libya and other sanctions.

The Arab world is the main export market for Russian arms after traditional partners China and India.

Libyan Defence Minister Yunis Jaber had gone on a major spending spree during a January 2010 visit to Moscow, signing 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) worth of deals including for six Yak-130 military planes.

Meanwhile, Libya had also been expected to become the first foreign buyer of Russia's new Su-35 fighter and a contract worth $800 million for 12-15 planes had been ready for signing, reports have said.

A range of other contracts for helicopters and missile systems were also being discussed.

Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Moscow was "really alarmed" by the effect the revolts sweeping the Arab world could have on its weapons exports.

Asked whether Russia would now be able to record $10 billion of arms exports this year, Chemezov replied: "We will try." He gave no further details or comments.

Despite its concern over arms exports, Moscow has slowly started to show a tougher political line towards Kadhafi's regime as it battles to stay in power.

A Kremlin source said this week that Kadhafi is a "living political corpse" who has no place in the civilised world, in Russia's first clear call for the Libyan leader to quit.

Medvedev has yet to echo such graphic rhetoric himself but on Thursday he issued one of bluntest warnings yet over the situation by any world leader, saying Libya is on the verge of civil war.

"This is an extreme situation," he told Russia's Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to state news agency ITAR-TASS.

"Libya was and is on the verge of civil war and our main task was to save our people there (Russian citizens)," he said, praising the operation to evacuate Russians from Libya.

"During such events (such as in Libya) there is usually a complete disorganisation in the management of the state. And this is what we are seeing," he added.

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