Russia is attempting to break the isolation that the West seeks to impose on it by expanding its presence in the Middle East, while Baghdad is striving to enhance its diplomacy. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani is preparing for a visit to Russia in the coming weeks, according to a statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. It is believed that numerous files will be on the table, including energy and economic cooperation, as the Iraqi government seeks to play a larger diplomatic role.
Russia is trying to break the isolation that the West is attempting to impose by enhancing its presence in various regions of the world, including the Middle East, while Baghdad is working to boost its diplomacy on a global level and not rely solely on relations with the West and the United States.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister met with his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York.
The statement confirmed that during the meeting, the prospects for joint cooperation and the development of bilateral relations between the two countries were discussed, with the Minister stating that the Iraqi side is working to complete the necessary preparations for the visit of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to Moscow in the coming weeks.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister also stated that the talks between the two sides during the visit would provide a suitable opportunity to discuss bilateral cooperation in political and economic areas.
He also pointed out the possibility of holding a joint Iraqi-Russian committee meeting on the sidelines of this visit.
In turn, Lavrov stated that his country is eager to develop bilateral relations between the two countries, speaking about his country’s desire for al-Sudani to visit Moscow in the coming weeks.
In February of last year, during his visit to Baghdad, Lavrov called for exempting Russian-Iraqi relations from Western sanctions on Moscow, emphasizing the need to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the trade and economic fields.
Russian companies’ investments in the oil sector, despite Western sanctions, have been one of the most important topics of Russian-Iraqi dialogue. During his recent visit to Baghdad, Lavrov stated that the value of Russian investments in the oil sector has exceeded $10 billion, noting that Russian oil companies will comply with legal regulations in Iraq.
Both countries belong to the OPEC+ group and are among the world’s largest oil and gas producers.
In recent months, Russia and Iraq have been discussing how to deal with the financial dues of Russian companies operating in Iraq. Russia faces economic sanctions imposed by the United States and European countries, which may necessitate not dealing with dollars in payment of dues.
Al-Sudani‘s upcoming visit to Moscow comes as part of Iraq’s openness to all its partners and friends and the importance of its strategic relations with the Russian side in enhancing investment attraction, particularly in energy files. It is also part of Iraq’s efforts to enhance its role in coordinating regional and international interactions.