Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi said on Thursday his country was considering buying Ukrainian-made weaponry for defense purposes, according to RIA Novosti.

Qaddafi arrived in Kiev on Tuesday for talks with President Viktor Yushchenko and top government officials. The three-day state visit to the former Soviet republic is his first since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., and comes as the third leg of a tour that started in Moscow and continued in Minsk.

"We have discussed military technical cooperation [with the Ukrainian leadership]," Qaddafi told a news conference in Kiev.

"We are interested in buying modern defensive weaponry for suitable prices," he said, adding that Libya was considering military-technical cooperation with other countries as well.

Ukraine was the world`s 10th biggest arms exporter from 2003 to 2007, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

About half its arms sales go to countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, a regional grouping comprising a number of former Soviet republics, 30% to Southeast Asia and Africa, and six percent to the Middle East.

In 2007, Ukraine earned $1.2 billion from weapons deals with 20 countries. Exports include tanks, combat aircraft, artillery systems and missiles, as well as post-sales maintenance services.

Although Kiev has greatly improved control over arms-exports, it remains a potential source of illegal weapons supply for rogue states and rebel groups worldwide.

RIA Novosti