Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Russian FM in Iraq to discuss oil, arms

Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari (R) holds a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Baghdad on May 10

Source: Press TV

The Russian Foreign Ministry says Moscow is ready to boost military relations with Iraq and invest in the war-torn country.

"We are ready to develop cooperation in other spheres, including the military-technical," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti during an official visit to Baghdad.

The Russian foreign minister was welcomed by his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari on Tuesday and is scheduled to meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to discuss bilateral energy and military cooperation.

"It is planned to discuss the possible participation of Russian companies in the realization of various projects in Iraq, including agriculture, water management, transport, exploration and other spheres," the Russian Foreign Ministry had said ahead of the trip.

The visit comes amid Russian oil and gas companies' efforts to further increase their activity in Iraq.

In 2010, Iraq signed a deal with Russia's Lukoil and Statoil of Norway to expand the West Qurna Phase 2 oilfield, one of the country's largest, which has reserves of around 13 billion barrels of oil.

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