In the last decade of September, Denis Panasenko, President of the International Academy of Technological Sciences, Deputy Head of the ICIE Committee, member of the RUIE Commission on the Military Industrial Complex, held a number of meetings at the highest level with the Iraqi leadership and representatives of the Republic's business community.
Iraq is a Middle Eastern country with the greatest history and heavy fate. Despite various periods in the history of our states and in bilateral relations between Russia and Iraq, cooperation between our countries is traditionally rich and in a businesslike way productive.

To date, along with close cooperation in the military-technical and oil and gas spheres, our countries express their persistent intentions to develop industrial and trading cooperation in agriculture, production of consumer goods and development of a self-reliant industrial base in Iraq. Cultural and educational contacts between our states also hold a valuable place.

It is worth noting, that Iraq is a country very friendly to Russia, where we are ready to consider and implement any projects and programs both with the Russian business circles and the scientific, educational and cultural community of our country.
In the course of my meeting with Mr. Ali Al-Abadi, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Architecture of Iraq, the issue of the Russian-Iraqi Cultural Center, which is to become a platform for enlightenment and popularization of our countries on the territory of each other, was discussed in detail. Moreover, I am confident that development of multilateral cultural cooperation will make it possible to reduce the number of "white spots" in the body of knowledge of our nations about each other, decrease the number of concerns and even fears associated with the images of the Russian and the Iraqi, and thereby to stimulate cooperation and rapprochement not only in the social field, but also in political and economic spheres.
It is regrettable to admit that the attempts to "democratize" the region, made by our Western partners some time ago, did not go unnoticed for the Republic of Iraq in general and its economy in particular. Currently the country is actively restoring its potential and considers Russia a leading strategic partner in this regard, as it was unequivocally stated by Mr. Ayad Allawi, Vice President of the Republic of Iraq, at our meeting.

Along with that, we reached an agreement to specify the intentions of cooperation in the economic and educational spheres, which should be expressed in terms of joint actions and measures, about what Mr. Vice President and I have given relevant instructions to the employees of our staff.

As I have already mentioned, the Russian Federation has a very promising position in terms of promoting our companies and their products in the market of Iraq, which is today, in fact, a "consumer country" with a huge financial potential, provided with the country's oil resources.

During the meetings and negotiations with Mr. Abdul Razak al-Zuhiri, President of the Association of Business Federations of Iraq, agreements were reached concerning the establishment of a number of joint Russian-Iraqi enterprises, the activity of which will be both commercial and manufacturing in nature, including those in the oil and gas sector — construction of oil refineries, development of infrastructure for transportation of oil products.
The Parliament of the Republic represented by the Chairman of the Economy and Investment Committee, Mr. Ali al-Maliki, who I also met during my visit to Iraq, guarantees very positive attitude and full support to the interaction between the Russian and Iraqi businesses. I would like to note in parentheses that this is not only a demonstration of the Republic economic interests, but also the general mood of the majority of Iraqi parliamentarians, who are openly focused on cooperation with Russia, as a counterbalance to American intervention in the affairs of the state. This, accordingly, even more strengthens and creates the most favorable environment for the activities of Russian companies in Iraq.
As I have already said, a special sphere of activity is the military-technical cooperation of our states, the commitment to the continuation and expansion of which was expressed by Mr. Jalal Hussein, head of the Defense Industry Division of the Ministry of Industry and Resources of the Republic of Iraq. We have reached an agreement on the establishment of a joint venture with Russian defense industry enterprises in Iraq, the products of which will guaranteedly be purchased under the state contracts of the Iraqi Government. At the moment, we are working on the list of products to be manufactured and discussing terms of the extended Russian-Iraqi meeting on this issue.

I would like to admit, that despite all the difficulties of political and economic nature, often initiated from outside, the Republic, its Government, financial and industrial circles are not isolated, they participate and actively expand their representation in the global economic system, with Russia, as it is seen by our Iraqi partners, undoubtedly being one of the key players in it, — this was clearly stated by Mr. Saif Badir, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the "World Islamic Bank", at our meeting. The Bank, headed by Mr. Badir, is ready to take part in the implementation of joint Russian-Iraqi investment projects, primarily in the oil and gas sector, and the register of such projects is currently being developed by us.
In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to the leadership of the Russian Diplomatic Mission in Iraq for providing comprehensive support to our communication and productive negotiations with the Republic’s Establishment, and, in particular, I would like to thank Maxim Maximov, Ambassador of Russia to Iraq, Maxim Litvinov, Minister Counsellor, and Ilya Lobov, Economic Counselor of the Embassy, for their assistance.

I am sure that multilateral and multilevel cooperation between Russia and Iraq, as well as support of the Republic by the Russian Federation, will make it possible, according to Sergey Lavrov, to bring the stateness, infrastructure and economy of Iraq "to a normal state" and, on the other hand, through social, economic and cultural interaction between our countries, to stimulate Russian business to enter world markets, and, undoubtedly, improve the quality of life and safety of citizens of the Republic of Iraq.

Denis Panasenko,
President of the IATS, Deputy Head of the ICIE Committee, member of the RUIE Commission on the Military Industrial Complex.