Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed on Tuesday that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi will visit Moscow in the near future.

"The visit is being planned and the sides will coordinate and announce a date [for the visit]," Lavrov told reporters.

The Vedomosti business daily said on Monday, deals to supply arms to Libya worth more than $2 billion could be signed during Qaddafi''s visit.

Qaddafi, who has ruled the oil and gas-rich African state since 1969, will arrive in Moscow on October 31, the paper said. He last visited the Russian capital in 1985, before the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The paper said, referring to an official in the Russian Technology Corporation, that contracts had been discussed on the supply of 16 SU-30 MKI Flanker-H multirole fighters, T-90 tanks, and TOR-M2E air defense systems to Libya.

Libya''s Soviet-era $4.6 billion debt was written off in exchange for a range of new contracts, the largest of which was a deal worth some $3 billion under which the Russian railroad monopoly is to build a 554-km (344-mile) railroad in Libya.

The deal was signed when the then president and current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, visited the country in April 2008.

Russian energy giant Gazprom, the Libyan national oil company, and the Libyan African Investment Fund have also signed memorandums to set up joint ventures to launch production in Libya and other African states, the paper said.