Press review: Iraq, Russia to deepen ties and Syrian opposition, Damascus eye direct talks | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Press review: Iraq, Russia to deepen ties and Syrian opposition, Damascus eye direct talks

Moscow will host a meeting of the Russian-Iraqi intergovernmental commission on Tuesday. The parties are expected to discuss the energy projects in Kirkuk whose implementation came into question after the province was put under the control of the central government in Baghdad, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. For one, Russia’s Rosneft oil company had reached an agreement with Erbil on several projects, including the construction of a gas pipeline in the autonomous region, according to media reports. The Russian energy giant, Gazprom, was likewise eying joint energy projects with Erbil. Now Russia will have to conduct negotiations on these deals with Baghdad rather than Erbil.

While the political aspects of bilateral relations took center stage at a meeting between Russian and Iraqi top diplomats, Sergey Lavrov and Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Monday, economic issues will be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the intergovernmental commission, Maxim Suchkov, an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), told the paper. "The focus of the meeting with Lavrov was Kurdistan and the political aspects of Russia’s interaction with the Kurds, while oil and energy cooperation issues will be negotiated by Dmitry Rogozin (who happens to be co-Chairman of the Russian-Iraqi intergovernmental commission)," the expert noted.

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