Libya's Gaddafi pitches tent in Kremlin garden

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi arrives at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, October 31, 2008. REUTERS/Pool/Yuri Kochetkov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has pitched a tent in a Kremlin garden before talks with Russian leaders on Saturday.

Gaddafi is to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for talks expected to focus on arms sales and access for Russian energy companies to projects in the North African state.

Located a few metres from the building where Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has his office, the military-style tent was decorated with North African fabrics and a metal barbecue grill has been set up in front, a Reuters reporter said.

A large, flat-screen television was switched on inside the tent.

Gaddafi, who was born to a Bedouin herdsman in a tent in 1942, frequently greets foreign visitors in a tent next to the ruins of his Tripoli residence, which was destroyed in a bombing raid by U.S. aircraft in 1986.

On a visit to Paris last year for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Gaddafi pitched his tent in the garden of the presidential guesthouse.

Russia is used to accommodating the foibles of visiting heads of state.

In 2001, the Kremlin laid on a massive logistical operation so North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, who diplomats say has an aversion to air travel, could make the nine-day journey to Moscow on board his armoured train.