Iraq expects to sign oil contracts with Russia

Aug 04, 2001 02:00 AM

Iraq is expected to sign $ 50 bn worth in oil contracts with Russia, diplomatic sources said. The sources commented on a recent statement made by Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rashid saying that "Russia ranks the first and then Syria, Jordan and Turkey follow it." "These priorities will be reflected in all fields of economic and political cooperation", he added.
He noted that Iraq intends to thank Russia for its wrecking the US-British resolution on the so-called "smart" sanctions against Iraq. Syria, Jordan and Turkey also came against the US-British initiative in the UN Security Council. The minister stressed that France's support for the project will have a negative impact on traditionally friendly relations between Baghdad and Paris. "Now we will take into account this position while discussing projects of trade and economic cooperation," he said.

Iraq is going to give Russia exclusive rights to develop the largest oil fields in the Middle East, Majnun and Nahr Omar, located in the south of Baghdad. Earlier, Iraq and France signed a memorandum of understanding on this issue. France's Total oil giant should be given priority in developing oil fields in the Middle East. Now these rights will be given to Russia, the sources said.
France's support for the US-British project on "balanced" or "smart" sanctions against Iraq in the UN Security Council has a negative impact on traditionally friendly French-Iraqi relations. Russia blocked this project and Iraq welcomed Russia's position.

Source: Itar-Tass
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