MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Russian companies are ready to return to Iraq and Russia is satisfied with security guarantees provided by the Iraqi side, Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday.
The Russian vice-premier made his statement at a meeting of Russia’s delegation with Iraqi Foreign Minister, Co-Chairman of the Russia-Iraq Inter-Governmental Commission Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
Russian companies, both state and private, operating in the energy sector, industry or transport, are ready to return to Iraq, Rogozin said.
"The only issue is the issue of security provision but we’re quite satisfied with the information, which the commission participants gave us with regard to measures, which the Iraqi government is ready to take," the Russian vice-premier said.
The meeting discussed in depth the issues of bilateral cooperation between Russia and Iraq in the energy sector, finances, transport and industry, Rogozin said.
Russia and Iraq have been maintaining close political and economic ties since the time of the Soviet Union, Rogozin said.
"We have now returned to the need to restore cooperation in full, from cooperation in defense and security to cooperation in the energy sector and the development of the industrial potential," the Russian vice-premier said.
"In actual fact, we have formulated a serious home assignment for our next meeting, which will be held already in Baghdad," Rogozin said.
In turn, Ibrahim al-Jaafari said the Iraqi government would do everything possible to ensure security for Russian citizens working in Iraq.
"I want to highly assess the seriousness in the work and I hope our meeting in Baghdad is not far away and it will help embark upon the path of mutually advantageous cooperation between the two countries. We want to give assurances that we’ll do everything necessary to ensure the security of those people [Russian citizens] who are working in Baghdad," the Iraqi minister said.
During their talks, the sides touched upon the issues of cooperation in various spheres of mutual interest, he said.
"I can name the most effective areas, such as electric power engineering, transport and others. I hope we’ll compensate for the pause since 2008 by our close cooperation and we’ll continue it in the future," al-Jaafari said.
The Iraqi foreign minister thanked Rogozin who is chairman of the Russia-Iraq Inter-Governmental Commission on Russia’s behalf for the words of support and solidary in Iraq’s struggle against the Islamic state extremist group.
It is also important for Russia and Iraq to have direct air communication as it "allows to quickly resolve issues in various fields," the Iraqi foreign minister said.