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You're reading: Putin seeks to boost ties with Iraq

MOSCOW — Russia's President Vladimir Putin is pushing for closer energy and military cooperation with Iraq.

Putin
said during Wednesday’s talks with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki that Russia’s oil companies are willing to expand their
operations in Iraq. He urged al-Maliki to ease company registration
procedures and simplify other requirements to help boost ties.

Al-Maliki said that Iraq is also willing to develop military and security cooperation with Russia.

Iraq
is seeking foreign investment to develop vast natural resources after
decades of war, U.N. sanctions and neglect. It also has voiced interest
in buying weapons from Moscow, which supplied billions of dollars worth
of weapons to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Russia’s private oil giant Lukoil is developing the 12.9 billion-barrel West Qurna Phase 2 field in southern Iraq.

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