Duma official comments on cooperation with Iraq

Russia's collaboration with Iraq needs to be corrected seriously,Konstantin Kosachev, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee oninternational affairs, declared at a press conference in Moscow today. Hepointed out that the majority of current contracts between the twocountries were of a non-recurring character, while it was necessary todevelop long-term cooperation. The deputy mentioned that the productivityof an oil well on Iraq's West Kurna oil field was 600 times higher than ofa well in Western Siberia. In this respect Kosachev believes that "it is inthe economic interests of Russia to preserve those special relations thatexist between our countries". He noted that Russia's and the United State'spositions concerning Iraq do not coincide. "America plans to overthrowSaddam Hussein's regime, cancel economic sanctions and throw cheap Iraqioil onto world markets, which is, certainly, not in the interests ofRussia", the deputy concluded..

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