MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Moscow is interested in developing existing and opening new projects for economic cooperation in Iraq, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday after talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim.
"We are very interested in increasing our trade, economic and investment ties. In the investment and in the hydrocarbon sector, there are very good results: Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, Soyuzneftegaz are already working, Rosneft is showing interest to projects in Iraq. The total investment in this industry has already exceeded $10 bln," the Minister said.
At the same time, Lavrov noted that Russia is interested not only in cooperation in the field of hydrocarbon production and processing. "We want to promote projects in other areas as well: today we talked about electricity, agriculture, industry, transport. All this will be considered in preparation for the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission," he said.
The Russian Foreign Minister expressed gratitude to the Iraqi leadership for its attentive attitude to the work of Russian companies in the country.
Lavrov has accepted his Iraqi counterpart Mohamed Ali Alhakim’s invitation to visit the country. "The minister has been so kind as to invite me to make a return visit to Iraq and I will be pleased to do it," Lavrov said at a joint press conference following talks between the two top diplomats.
Mohamed Ali Alhakim, in turn, pointed to long-standing historical ties between Baghdad and Moscow and Iraqi-Russian strategic partnership.
"Our diplomatic relations date back to 1944, so this year will mark their 75th anniversary," the Iraqi foreign minister said. "We will be pleased if you visit Iraq in connection with the anniversary of our diplomatic relations, so that we can hold various political and cultural events, particularly involving our embassies in Baghdad and Moscow," he noted.