Iraq and Russia sign minute on economic, trade, technology and oil co-operation

Oct 04, 1999 02:00 AM

Iraq and Russia signed a minute on bilateral economic, trade, technology and oil co-operation, the Iraqi News Agency INA reported. The minutes were signed by Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rasheed and visiting Russian Minister of Fuel and Energy Victor Kalyuzini, who arrived here to attend the third session of the Iraqi-Russian Economic, Trade and Technical Joint Committee.
Following the signing ceremony, Rasheed told that meetings of the Iraqi-Russian joint committee were successful and the two countries will work to promote bilateral co-operation to a new height. Rasheed said Iraq had given priorities in signing contracts to Russian companies, elaborating that Iraq had signed $ 400 mm worth of contracts with Russian companies in the fifth phases of the oil-for-food deal for the purchases of oil equipment and spare parts.
He added that Russia had purchased more than 40 % of Iraq's oil exported under the oil-for-food program now in its sixth phase. For his part, the Russian minister saidthat there were some problems in implementing the contract the two countries signed in 1997 on developing southern Iraq's West Qurna Oilfields.

West Qurna Oilfields, 500 km south of Baghdad, have an estimated oil reserve of 7 to 8 bn barrels. Under the contract, Russia and Iraq will cooperate to develop the oilfields over 23 years. Kalyuzini said Iraq's top leaders had discussed those problems in implementing the contract and tried to find solutions to existing problems. He said that Russia will implement the contract.
The Russian minister also condemned the U.S.-British bombardment of Iraqi civilian facilities, saying that Russia will try its best to help lift the UN sanctions imposed on Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Kalyuzini conveyed to President Saddam Hussein a letter from President Boris Yeltsin in which Yeltsin said Russia will work now and in the future to help lift the UN sanctions off Iraq.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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