Average annual trade turnover between Russia and Iraq amounts to 4 billion dollars. Dr. Mozher al-Doury,Iraq's ambassador to Russia, said so at an international round-table discussion, "Russia - Iraq: Economic Cooperation," now underway in Moscow. In Mozher al-Doury's words, the Iraqi leadership has given, and will continue to give, priority to Russian companies working on the Iraqi market. The Iraqi ambassador noted that Iraqi President Saddam Hysayn had given official instructions to Iraqi state bodies to "regard Russia as an especially friendly state." In this connection, he stressed, Russian governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as companies, will rank among Iraq's major trade partners. The Iraqi ambassador also said that the next session of the Russian-Iraqi inter-governmental commission for trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation would be held, as is expected, in Baghdad in January 2002. Mozher al-Doury gave a positive appraisal to Russia's stance on the settlement of the situation around Iraq, calling it most "well-balanced." "Russia has always been doing its best to have Iraq's blockade lifted. This is proved by its active role in the international arena and by its efforts to ensure strategic stability," the ambassador said in conclusion.