It is essential to get Russian contracts in Iraq honored and "help our companies that work in that country," Mikhail Margelov, chair of the Federation Council's international committee, told RIA Novosti.
The member of Russia's upper house of parliament pointed out that the oil contracts in question "are Russia's prime interest in Iraq." Just the contract to develop West Qurna 2 field, awarded by the former Iraqi government to Russian firms LUKOIL, Zarubezhneft and Mashinimport, might bring Russia more than $5 billion in taxes and investments. "And that's not the only project of Russian companies in Iraq," the senator emphasized.
For this reason, he maintains, "What it's necessary to speak about with the Americans who control the provisional administration in Iraq is not Russia's interests in general, but concrete things." "To avoid ending up overboard, Russia needs to adjust its approach to the Iraq problem," the senator said.
He went on to say that if Russia was to "really consolidate in the Middle and Near East," it "must get anchored there economically." "That is when we would be able to talk of a long-term strategy," he indicated.