Interenergoservis polling personnel in Iraq

Interenergoservis, a Russian company, is polling its personnel in Iraq in order to determine who intends to stay in the country, Yevgeny Loginov, the company's director for international projects, said.

According to him, the decision to poll personnel was made at an extraordinary meeting of the Interenergoservis board on Wednesday.

Mr. Loginov said, "those who want to leave are writing applications to end work, while those who do not want to quit are staying in the country."

In his opinion, despite the developments on Monday in Iraq when one Interenergoservis worker was killed and two were taken hostage, the majority of the personnel want to stay in Iraq.

Currently there are 340 Interenergoservis workers in Iraq working on repairing the thermoelectric plant in Baghdad. In Mr. Loginov's opinion, the decision to stay in Iraq, made by most of the workers, was not dictated as much by material interests as by the moral satisfaction that their work gives them.

He said that the company's personnel is scheduled to be evacuated from Iraq on May 17. Mr. Loginov also said that Interenergoservis had also considered the option of evacuating people on an Emergency Situations Ministry airplane, and stressed that the final decision on the aircraft would depend on the number of people who want to leave Iraq.

Mr. Loginov went on to say that the decision on a full or partial evacuation of the Interenergoservis personnel from Iraq would "depend on the government's decision."

"Even though we are a commercial organization, the Foreign Ministry can make recommendations or even strongly recommend to us. Anyway, they have the final say. But our position, as a company is as follows: we will attentively listen to the Foreign Ministry's opinion but would like to continue working in Iraq," Mr. Loginov said.

Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry again strongly advised all the Russian citizens in Iraq to leave the country.

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