Some 200 Russian firms have pledged to attend the Baghdad international trade fair opening November 1, newspapers reported on Sunday, October 21. "These firms are specialized in heavy industries, car manufacturing, agricultural machinery, oil and electricity," several papers quoted Russian envoy Nikolai Kartuzov as saying.
"Russia is eager to expand its cooperation with Iraq within the scope of the strategic relations between the two countries," said the envoy in Baghdad where he met Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan.
In September, Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said Russian companies had won contracts worth $40 billion to help develop Iraq's oil and gas, petrochemical and industrial sectors.
Baghdad has decided to give Russia and Syria priority in trade relations for having supported Iraq in July against the aborted US-backed British bid at the UN Security Council to impose so-called "smart" sanctions.
Since the Un-imposed "oil-for-food" regime was introduced, trade in oil between Russia and Iraq has totaled six billion dollars (€6.7 billion), according to Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohamed Rashid. Iraq has been under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. ― (AFP, Bagdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )