Iraqi banks are having problems making payments to Russian companies due to anti-Russian sanctions, said Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein. Baghdad fears secondary US sanctions, but wants to continue transferring funds to firms in Russia. The Iraqi authorities intend to discuss changing the terms of payments.
“We have a payment issue. How can we pay them? This is really a problem. <...> Financial engagement with Russia means you will go against these sanctions. And this means that we will create problems for our banking system,” Mr. Hussein said during a speech at the American Institute for Peace (quoted from TASS).
Baghdad is now discussing the issue with Washington. The minister noted that if the Russian authorities turn to them with questions about payments, they will explain why “it’s difficult.” “If we manage to reach an agreement with the Russian side so that we can protect our banking system, and we will do this, because we realize that we must pay the Russians. <...> The question is when,” Hussein added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a visit to Iraq earlier this week, spoke about the need to secure economic relations between the countries and protect Moscow’s oil investments against the backdrop of sanctions. According to him, Russian oil companies in Iraq have “very serious capital investments and far-reaching plans”, more than $13 billion has already been invested.
About relations between Moscow and Baghdad – in the material “Kommersant” “In Iraq, there were no hesitation.”