Putin to Meet Iraqi Deputy PM in Moscow Next Week
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz on July 26th in Moscow.
Aziz is expected to arrive in the Russian capital on July 25th for a four-day visit, according to diplomatic sources in Moscow.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin made the announcement after meeting Iraqi Finance Minister Hekmat al-Assawi, in comments cited by ITAR-TASS.
Kudrin, also finance minister, said the two sides had discussed "the development of economic relations between Russia and Iraq" which "are curtailed by UN sanctions against Iraq."
Russia, as one of the five major powers in the UN Security Council, is a strong supporter of a lifting of sanctions, which have been in force ever since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The Russian minister added that Moscow had played a "serious role" in the UN Oil-for-Food program to finance imports of essential goods for Iraq.
Since 1996, Russia had bought some 663 million tonnes of petrol from Iraq, a third of Iraqi exports, clinching contracts worth two billion dollars for humanitarian supplies, he said - MOSCOW (AFP)
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