Iraq and Russia shake hands
BAGHDAD, February 12, 2016 – Iraq and Russia have signed several agreements to strengthen economic, commercial and investment ties, including those in the energy industry, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Jafari and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Dmitry Rogozin ran the meeting attended by almost 100 government and business officials in Baghdad. The congregation focused around Russia providing military strength with the potential to enhance commercial and energy trade ties, possibly abrading US influence on the oil-rich country.
Russia has already invested millions of dollars in Iraq’s hydrocarbons industry and opened a centre of operations under an intelligence-sharing agreement. Trade between the country amounted to almost USD 2 billion, comprised of mostly Russian exports.
Discussions revolved around receiving military assistance against Islamic State, which took control of almost a third of Iraq in 2014.
Rogozin suggested that the next meeting be held in the occupied city of Mosul once it returned under government control.
“Economic co-operation must coincide with settling security matters,” the Iraqi official said. “The faster you liberate this city, the sooner we can get [back] to Iraq.”
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