Russia-Iraq trade turnover soars
Trade turnover between Russia and Iraq between January and August 2022 amounts to $313.1 million, exceeding last year'a total of $282.7 million, an economic adviser at the Russian embassy in Baghdad, Ilya Lobov, has said, in an interview with RIA Novosti published on Saturday.
“If we compare this to the year before last year, then we recorded a two-and-a-half-times increase. The positive dynamic was influenced by a significant increase in the volume of purchases of our sunflower oil, wheat flour and animal feed,” Lobov explained.
According to the diplomat the two countries are continuing close cooperation through the Russian-Iraqi Business Council and are looking for new opportunities to increase and expand mutual trade.
Nonetheless, Lobov remarked that this year’s Western sanctions against Russia have created difficulties.
“We note that the anti-Russian sanctions have become an additional negative factor on the path to strengthening bilateral [trade] cooperation. For example, financial settlements in international banks, especially in US dollars, have become more difficult. At the same time, our Iraqi partners understand the benefits and prospects of working together. There is an ongoing close dialogue to develop mutually acceptable solutions to solve all problems that arise,” the economic adviser said.
Lobov also stressed that the countries’ cooperation on energy remains a priority, noting that Moscow has already invested more than $14 billion in its joint projects with Baghdad.
The official added that Russian oil giant Lukoil is currently working on a large Iraqi ‘Block 10’ oil project in Muthanna province, which is due to start production in 2024, while Russian oil major Bashneft is developing the ‘Block 12’ oil field in Iraq’s Western Desert.
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