A Russian firm received the first contract to sell Iraqi crude oil under the latest phase of the Oil-for-Food program, the UN sanctions committee announced Tuesday.
The contract allows for the sale of three million barrels of Iraqi crude oil to Europe, the United States and Asia, the office of the Iraq program said.
During the week of June 17th-23rd, Iraq exported 16 million barrels of oil with revenues of about 430 million dollars, the United Nations said. That brings Iraq's revenues under the latest phase of the program to 801 million dollars. The latest phase began June 9th.
Under the Oil-for-Food program, Iraq can sell crude oil to buy food, medicines and essential items under strict UN control. The program is meant to ease the effects on Iraq's 22 million people of UN sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Since the program began on December 10th, 1996, Iraq has exported almost 1.86 billion dollars of oil valued at 29.822 billion dollars.
Baghdad has only received 53 percent of that amount. About 13 percent goes to Kurds in northern Iraq, 30 percent to a fund to compensate Kuwait for war damages, and four percent to finance UN agencies in Iraq.
During the fourth through seventh phases of the program, the sanctions committee approved contracts valued at 7.764 billion dollars. The value of contracts placed on hold is about 1.357 billion dollars, the Iraq program office said - UNITED NATIONS (AFP)
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