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    HEAD OF LUKOIL TO DISCUSS RESUMPTION OF PRE-WAR CONTRACT IN BAGHDAD

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 9 (RIA NOVOSTI) - President of the Russian LUKOIL company Vagit Alekperov leaves today for Baghdad to discuss cooperation plans with representatives of the Iraqi oil ministry, a company representative told RIA Novosti.

    Earlier, the Iraqi press reported that the visit is aimed at resuming the contract for the development of West Qurna-2 oil deposit.

    The contract estimated at $3.7 billion was signed by the Russian company in the middle of the 1990s. But in early 2003, shortly before the US military operation in Iraq, Baghdad declared that it would annul the contract, since LUKOIL did not fulfill its obligations. The representatives of the Russian company said they could not fulfill the contract in conditions of UN economic sanctions against Iraq.

    The current Iraqi leadership has not yet decided whether to resume this contract and on what terms. Meanwhile, LUKOIL hopes to come to agreement with the Iraqi side, during the visit, on the terms of the realization of the project.

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