Source Pravda.Ru

US: Russia's Participation in Post-War Reconstruction of Iraq Hangs in Mid-Air

A conciliatory US Congress committee is to discuss the participation of Russian companies in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq.

Yesterday, the US Administration asked the Congress to vote on funding further 6 months of the military campaign in Iraq. During the vote, Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy introduced an amendment, which bans French, German, Russian and Syrian companies from receiving allocations from the "package" to participate in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. The House of Representatives approved the $77.9 billion allocation at the expense of the increased budgetary deficit by 414 votes to 12.

Later that day, the Senate voted unanimously in favour of the bill. Although senators did not raise the issue of sanctions against Russian companies, Republican Senator John Ensign from Nevada proposed and then withdrew an amendment aimed at denying contracts for the post-war reconstruction of Iraq to French and German companies.

The Bush Administration influenced the voting, the Washington Post reports. According to the newspaper, the White House does not want to cause tension with any country, that can participate in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq, peace-keeping operations, providing humanitarian aid and combating terrorism.

Critics say that Mark Kennedy's amendment provides for evading it, which means that it is unlikely to pass the conciliatory Congress stage, the Washington Post writes.

Russia's Ministry for Foreign Affairs is seriously concerned about the state of health of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Sergei Skrypal's niece, Victoria Skripal, said that her uncle had already died.

UK wants Sergei Skripal dead

The Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok investment fund, on allegations of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles from Vostochny Bank. Calvey will be held in custody until April 13

Putin informed about arrest of US investor Michael Calvey
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