Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 236

Three Russian oil companies–LUKoil, Zarubezhneft, and Nafta Moskva — signed contracts on December 15 to purchase Iraqi oil, and are awaiting what is expected to be quick UN approval for the deals. The Russian companies anticipate being able to begin moving the oil by January 10. In total, the purchases by the Russian companies will equal about 55,000 barrels per day, which is less than ten percent of the 600,000 barrels per day that the UN has permitted Baghdad to sell under a recently concluded "oil for food" deal. With those figures in mind, a Russian daily complained yesterday that Iraq has turned to Western companies to export much of its oil, despite the fact that Moscow had vigorously championed Baghdad’s efforts to win a relaxation of international sanctions. Three other Russian companies — Rosneft, Machinoimport, and MES — are reported to be interested in buying Iraqi oil, but have not yet signed any contracts with SOMO, the Iraqi state oil trading agency. (UPI, Reuter, Kommersant-daily, December 17)

On December 11 a Russian government official had cautioned that Russian companies might not profit greatly from the "oil-for-food" deal because non-Russian firms were in a better position to supply Iraq with the humanitarian goods that Baghdad will be allowed to purchase with its oil revenues. He suggested that earlier, well-publicized deals between Russian companies and Iraq were likely in the short term to bring the former only a "few tens of millions of dollars." (Interfax, December 10)

Russia Avoids Recognition of Ukraine’s Borders.