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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia hopes its companies will be given active role in Iraq

RIA Novosti

11/12/2007 15:14 MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia hopes its companies will be able to make a major contribution to efforts to rebuild infrastructure in war-torn Iraq, a deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Representatives of the Russian business community could at some stage join efforts to rebuild and develop the Iraqi economy, in particular the energy sector and infrastructure, Alexander Saltanov told a roundtable on Russian-Iraqi cooperation in the 21st century held in Moscow.

"The most promising agreements whose implementation will help increase the scope of Russian-Iraqi cooperation include a contract to develop the second stage of the oil deposit at West Qurna," Saltanov said.

Russia's largest independent crude producer, LUKoil operated the first phase of West Qurna and is looking to develop West Qurna-2 in southern Iraq. The deal for both phases was signed for 23 years in 1997 under Saddam Hussein but frozen in 2002.

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