Federation Council official on LUKoil's activities in Iraq

Russia cannot accept the attempts of Iraqi authorities to scale down a contract with LUKoil on the development of the Western Kurna-2 deposit. Russian authorities must find ways and means for preserving the status quo regarding the project, no matter how the situation in the region develops in the near future, head of the Federation Council International Committee Mikhail Margelov stated in a conversation with journalists. He pointed out that the LUKoil-Iraqi contract on the development of a deposit in Western Kurna "is valued at over $3bn". "This is a strategic point", the senator added.

"It is very well that the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs signed a collaboration agreement. This means that the Foreign Ministry has started fulfilling the President's call to protect Russian businesses," Margelov continued. The official stressed that "Russian national interests are a very concrete thing". He pointed out that "these interests are mainly focused on the activities of our major companies, such as Gazprom, LUKoil, YUKOS and others". These are not just large companies, Margelov said; these are "the largest Russian taxpayers, they have all grounds to hope that all state resources will be used when it concerns the support of their businesses abroad". The senator assumed that it could be reasonable to create an interdepartmental task force, in which members of the Federation Council would participate, for developing a strategy of protecting the interests or Russian companies abroad.

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