The agreement on economic cooperation between Russia and Iraq is "undergoing final approval with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov," Iraqi Ambassador to Russian Abbas Khalaf Kunfud told a press conference in Moscow.
According to him, the document was handed over to the Russian side by Iraqi Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan in April 2001. Since then, the Russian side has been busy elaborating on the final details of the agreement.
The Iraqi diplomat said a spokesperson for the Russian government had confirmed that the document had passed through the hands of all Russian ministries and departments.
As reported earlier, the five-year agreement covers contracts to a sum of approximately 40 billion dollars, mostly those dealing with oil and gas production, transport, and communications. The agreement is expected to be signed in September.
Addressing the press conference, the diplomat said there were several Russian companies functioning in Iraq, including LUKOIL, which handles 40% of the oil sold in Baghdad in the framework of a program called Oil for Food. "It is a successful company which earns good money," said Abbas Khalaf Kunfud.
The US is going to ban exports of Iranian oil to the world market from November 5 of this year. In turn, Iran threatens to block the passage of oil tankers of the Gulf countries through the Strait of Hormuz
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969