Russian senators: Iraq's decision to end LUKoil contract tentative

Russian senators preferred not to view Iraq's decision not to renew its contract with Russian oil firm Lukoil as definitive.

Commenting on a relevant statement by a new Iraqi administration official, Federation Council (upper house of parliament) speaker Sergei Mironov emphasized to reporters, "What we are talking about now is some sort of a transitional, provisional administration." "Sooner or later, there will emerge a legitimate administration in Iraq," he said, adding, "Then the issue of Russian oil companies' contracts with Iraq will be settled definitively." On his part, First Deputy Speaker Valery Goreglyad opined to reporters that Russian companies "are unlikely to be able to claim development of oil fields in Iraq in the near future." He suggested the participation of Russian oil firms did not "match the economic and political interests of the United States and its allies." But the senator stressed that Russian diplomats "will be right to feel optimism" on the Iraq issue after the US had "returned into the United Nations and into the UN Security Council mechanisms." US-appointed director of the oil ministry Thamir Ghadhban earlier announced that the contract with Russia's Lukoil to develop the prized West Qurna oil field had been terminated. He said other prewar contracts would also be reviewed and new agreements were expected to be made to develop Iraq's vast oil reserves.

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