Total investment by Russian companies in Iraq could soon reach USD 4 billion, said President Vladimir Putin in a meeting with Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the leading Shiite Muslim member of the provisional Iraqi governing council. Putin added that Russian companies were prepared to work actively in Iraq.
The largest Russian players on the Iraqi market before the war in Iraq were oil companies. LUKoil had a contract worth USD 3.7 billion to develop an oil field in Western Kurna until it was cancelled in December 2002 when Baghdad said that the company failed to complete terms of the deal and begin development. In addition, in the final months of the reign of Saddam Hussein, Iraq signed deals with Stroyttransgaz and Soyuzneftgaz and also held talks with Zarubezhneft.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building