October 1, 2001
Iraq: Russia Gets $40Bln In Contracts
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq said Sunday that Russian companies had won deals worth
$40 billion to execute scores of future oil and infrastructure projects.
It was not immediately clear if any of the projects could go ahead before
the United Nations lifts tough trade sanctions imposed on Iraq for its 1990
invasion of Kuwait.
Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Saleh, quoted by the official Iraqi news
agency INA, said Russian companies would carry out 72 projects, mostly in
the oil sector, under a long-term protocol.
"Iraq and Russia have agreed on a long-term economic cooperation program
under which Russian companies will implement projects worth $40 billion in
Iraq," Saleh was quoted as telling a visiting Russian delegation.
He said 17 of the projects were in oil and gas, 15 in industry, 14 in
transport and communications, 11 in agriculture and irrigation, six in
petrochemicals, six in electricity and three in health. He did not say when
work would start.
UN sanctions bar foreign companies from investing in Iraq's oil sector and
from selling it equipment outside the framework of an oil-for-food deal with
the United Nations. The deal allows Iraq to sell oil to buy food, medicine
and humanitarian goods under strict United Nations monitoring.
Iraq has given Russian firms priority in winning business under the
oil-for-food deal as a reward for Moscow's rejection of a U.S.-British
proposal to revamp the 11-year-old sanctions.
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