MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti)
Russian President Vladimir Putin will on Wednesday meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss joint energy projects and ways to expand investment cooperation between the two countries.
Al-Maliki is in Russia on a working visit on Putin’s invitation. He has already met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin.
Cooperation in the oil and gas sector and the power industry remains a key direction in bilateral relations. Large Russian companies Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, Bashneft and others work on the Iraqi market.
Al-Maliki is traveling with Iraq's oil and trade minister as well as the chief of its investment commission, Al Arabiya has reported. Earlier this year, Lukoil won a $100 million exploration contract in Iraq and is developing the huge West Qurna oilfield there.
Russia will deliver attack helicopters and mobile air-defense systems to Iraq in arms deals worth $4.2 billion signed earlier this year, it was disclosed on Tuesday during al-Maliki’s visit to Moscow.
Putin and al-Maliki will also discuss the regional and international agenda, including the situations in the Middle East and Syria.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.