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Russia still has a chance to have contracts in Iraq

A list of countries participating in the upcoming tender of infrastructure development in Iraq is not yet final. Perhaps, it will include more countries, which did not have anything to do with the anti Iraq coalition. This was reported by George W. Bush after his phone talks with Russian, German and French leaders.

According to official representative of the White House Sean McCormack, George Bush has phoned each leader one by one and asked them to welcome American ex Secretary of State James Baker. Mr. Baker is scheduled to visit various countries as America’s special representative in order to discuss the Iraqi debt. Bush has also noted to his European colleagues that “there is a need to reduce Iraq’s tremendous debt. The country will be unable to pay back such a considerable sum of money.”

Russia, France and Germany in turn have all mentioned in their conversation with the American President that the US has strictly prohibited to provide any contracts to any company in Iraq in order not to benefit the country’s economy. America could not permit the fact that Iraqi economy will be financed from the American budget. Total amount of contracts is equivalent to $18,6billion. Certain limitations have touched Russia, France, Germany, and approximately a hundred other countries.

US moves caused rather negative reaction from several governments as well as from several leading spheres of EU. They informed of their attempt to investigate such unilateral strategy of the US, which obviously violates world trade rules. Secretary General Koffee Anan has also criticized the US decision. “Stability in Iraq is of common interest. Therefore, we must work together and avoid taking actions separately,” said Koffee Anan.

Bush however has assured Putin, Schreder and Chirack that he “leaves a possibility for future cooperation.” Representatives of the president’s administration have noted to CNN that the situation will change only if all those countries which are currently not on the list will support USA in Iraq. The support can either be financial, diplomatic or militaristic, reports BBC News.

In the meantime, Russian Minister of International Affairs Igor Ivanov has made the following comment after his negotiations with his German colleague in Berlin. He said that “it is in Iraq’s best interest to have International coalition work as a group and not separately.” Ivanov has also mentioned that there are several Russian companies currently working in Iraq and Russia is in fact looking forward to continue their cooperation. Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov has remarked in turn that Moscow will not right off Iraqi debt of $8billion. 

Source: “Izvestia.ru.”

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