Russian diplomats and business representatives return to Baghdad

When answering journalists' questions on Thursday, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said that representatives of a series of Russian companies working in Iraq under UN humanitarian programmes had returned to Baghdad with Russian Embassy staff.

The diplomat explained that they would have to re-establish contacts with their Iraqi partners and emerging economic structures in the interests of restarting work on facilities that had been centres of co-operation. According to Yakovenko, "these facilities, which are being created in various branches, have crucial significance for the Iraqi people." The spokesman also said that a group of staff members had returned to the Russian Federation Embassy on June 4 after they had been evacuated earlier. "Accordingly, the Russian diplomatic mission in the Iraqi capital, without interrupting its activity even in conditions of war, continues to function with more staff," he said.

The diplomat continued that Russia's additional political presence in Iraq was designed to assist the country's firms in their work there. Yakovenko pointed out that the recently adopted UN Security Council resolution 1483 laid the international legal basis for this.

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