Russian Senator Upholds Moscow's Positions on the Iraqi Market

The opinion being spread by the Western mass media that Russian companies will be allowed to act on the Iraqi market is mere propaganda. This point of view was expressed to RIA Novosti by Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the International Committee of the Federation Council.

"To my mind, the talks about the participation of Russian companies in the restoration of Iraq and about observing the existing treaties are purely hypothetical," he said. According to his words, the occupation administration will be replaced by the interim transitional government, and immediately after its appearance the question will be raised about the role of the United Nations in the given situation. "Only under the aegis of the United Nations is it possible to hold a referendum there and the elections of a new legitimate government." "If it is democratically elected and comes out for the development of market relations in the country, then what have the decisions of the American occupation administration to do with what country and what contracts will be observed or not observed," underscored the Russian senator.

"Market relations and the relations of rivalry are appearing, and if Iraq does not want to go bankrupt and wants to receive at least its 40 billion dollars in the banks, it will have to recognise its economic commitments," pointed out Mikhail Margelov. Since practically all contracts concluded between Russian companies and Iraq in the format of "oil in exchange for food" were approved by international arbiters and passed through American lawyers' offices, it is not serious in principle to talk about recognising or not recognising these contracts." There exists the principle of the Roman law - the treaties must be observed, believes the head of the international committee of the Federation Council.

"It is different when we talk about eight billion dollars for armaments (the debt of Iraq to Russia)," he continued. "In this case there is a mechanism of the Paris Club, there is a mechanism of discussing such debts of the countries of the Third World, and it should be said that Russia forgives the debts of the Third World countries more often than other G-8 member-countries.

"We are open for a dialogue, but it seems to me that all these bellicose statements that "Russians not getting this or that" are part of the information-propaganda campaign which accompanies the military actions," concluded Mikhail Margelov.

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