Russia FM Sergey Lavrov to visit Iraq on Monday for economy, bilateral talks

Russia FM Sergey Lavrov to visit Iraq on Monday for economy, bilateral talks
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov will reportedly also visit the autonomous Kurdistan region during his two-day state visit to Iraq.
2 min read
04 February, 2023
Sergey Lavrov will discuss cooperation with Iraqi leaders in a number of fields, including security, energy and oil [Getty]

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov will reportedly make a state visit to Iraq on Monday, where he will meet with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani and discuss a numbrer of mattes, including economic deals and bilateral ties.

Lavrov will arrive in Baghdad on 6 February on a two-day official visit, during which he will hold meetings with the prime minister, and other politicians in Baghdad, revealed an Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs official to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the New Arab’s Arabic-language site.

The Russian foreign minister will also go to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, in order to meet with its leaders.

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The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said Lavrov will be heading a Russian government delegation along with representatives of Russian companies.

He will also "work to sign agreements related to investment and economic issues, including the oil, gas and energy sectors, discuss security the possibility of concluding new armament deals between Baghdad and Moscow," they added.

Lavrov will additionally discuss Iraqi students studying in Russia. Lavrov will talk about these matters in the Kurdish autonomous region, with regional leaders.

Ahmed Al-Sharifi, an expert on Iraqi affairs, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Sudani’s government is seeking "to conclude economic and trade agreements with many countries and international companies, and does not want to limit any file to one country," despite its upcoming talks with Russia.

Al-Sudani is seeking to improve Iraq’s relations on the international stage by striking deals with Chinese, German and American companies, and wants to demonstrate that Baghdad is not confined to a regional or international axis, following accusations that Iran politically influences its neighbour to a large extent.

Russia and Iraq have concluded several deals in the past. In 2012, Baghdad purchase armored vehicles, combat weapons, and attack helicopters from Moscow under then-Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Meanwhile, in November 2020, Lavrov said that "Russia and Iraq cooperate in various fields, including military cooperation".

Currently, Russia is being faced with international criticism and sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago, while Iraq continues to suffer from a political and economic crisis, exacerbated by the plunging of the dinar.