Oil-for-Food program is about to end
There is still no government in Iraq, the problem of Iraqi debts has not been solved, the US administration governs everything. However, life goes on, and it seems that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov did not exaggerate, when he said that Russian companies in Iraq would not be oppressed. Russians are coming back to Iraq, but no one knows, how long it is going to last.
News agencies report that the Russian company Technopromexport was the first of the Russian companies that operated in Iraq before the war. This was officially said by Valentin Kuznetsov - the chairman of the foreign economic department of the company. He said that the deliveries of Russian equipment for the construction of the largest heating and electric power station in the Persian Gulf, Youssifiyah, continued in May. Technopromexport had already shipped four vessels to Iraq loaded with cargoes in the total sum of $40-45 million. Valentin Kuznetsov pointed out that one more vessel was about to leave for Iraq too.
Valentin Kuznetsov visited the construction of the power station at the end of May. The station has not suffered from bombardments, although looters have stolen fridges, air conditioners and other domestic appliances from builder's settlement 100 meters of the construction site.
Youssifiyah power plant was built within the scope of the UN's Oil-for-Food program. As it is well known, the program has been prolonged till November 22, 2003. No one can say, if the program continues existing in the future, and what is going to happen to its projects after it is eventually shut down.
"We are going to increase the speed of the construction and to deliver the equipment in the sum of $150 million," Valentin Kuznetsov said. Further deliveries can be performed on the base of commercial agreements with the Iraqi government, the head of Technopromexport believes. However, it is not known for sure yet, if the Iraqi government is interested in purchasing the equipment of the Russian production in the future as well. Probably, they will decide to acquire the Western production.