While relations between Libya and the United States have been strained by Libyan support for international terrorism, Col. Muammar Qaddafi has not always seen eye to eye with his friends in Moscow either.
The Soviet Union has sold the Libyan leader more than $1 billion worth of weapons in recent years, but Qaddafi has continued to rebuff Soviet requests for port facilities along Libya's 1,100-mile Mediterranean coastline.
"Up to now they [Soviet warships] haven't visited us, and we haven't considered it," said Maj. Abdul Salaam Jolloud, Libya's de facto prime minister.
Libya's friendship with the Soviet Union is based largely on purchases of Soviet arms and Qaddafi's willingness to pay hard cash for them.
At the same time, however, this relationship is complicated by the fact that Libya's inexperienced armed forces cannot absorb all the sophisticated weaponry they buy, including advanced Soviet Mig25 fighter planes, tanks and surface-to-air missiles.
For example, Qaddafi's Air Force now has more aircraft than qualified pilots to fly them. As a result, the Libyan leader has turned to North Korea for help.
Libya thus depends on Soviet advisers and this remains an important factor in its relationship with Moscow. According to sources here, Qaddafi has asked Moscow for 2,000 military advisers - nearly all of whom are said to be posted along Libya's eastern border with Egypt to discourage a feared Egyptian attack. CAPTION: Picture, Soviet-made SA6 missiles are displayed in Tripoli at a parade marking the fifth anniversary of Qaddafi's rule. UPI