Iraq will discuss with Washington this week how to pay dues owed to Russian oil companies despite sanctions, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Monday.
“We will discuss this problem with the American side. There are sanctions in place that should not be imposed on the Iraqi side because the cooperation with Russian companies is ongoing and there are active Russian companies in Iraq,” Hussein said during a news conference with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Baghdad.
Russian investments in Iraq are believed to be worth more than $10 billion, mostly in the oil industry. Hussein said that one of the main issues he and Lavrov talked about was how to pay bills owed to Russian energy companies such as Lukoil and Gazprom that do business in Iraq even though Russia is under international sanctions.
Iraq’s foreign minister is due to fly to the United States on Wednesday to discuss recent tight regulations imposed by the New York Federal Reserve on international dollar transactions by commercial Iraqi banks and their impact on Iraq’s economy, official sources said.
The West, previously Russia’s main energy market, has responded to the operation in Ukraine by targeting Moscow’s energy revenues through sanctions that also restrict sales to third countries and are set to tighten further.