Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 8

Russia’s state-run Zarubezhneft oil company announced on January 12 that seven Russian oil companies had signed contracts to buy nearly 30 million barrels of oil from Iraq under the UN’s "oil-for-food" program. Another four Russian companies will reportedly sign similar contracts soon under the UN program, which allows Iraq to sell $2 billion worth of oil every six months in order to purchase humanitarian goods for its population.

Baghdad has reportedly granted Russian companies a 35 percent share of the total amount of oil to be exported; an Iraqi newspaper said yesterday that Iraq had given preference to companies from those countries — including Russia and France — which favor lifting the UN sanctions on Iraq. Zarubezhneft is coordinating the efforts of Russia’s contingent of oil companies. The UN, which must give final approval to contracts under the program, announced in New York yesterday that it had so far approved five such contracts, but it provided no details. (Itar-Tass, January 8; Russian agencies, January 12; AP, January 13)

New Rubles Not Delivered to Chechnya.