By Burc Eruygur
ISTANBUL (AA) - Russia and Iraq must keep their economic relations safe from Western sanctions on either country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
"Under the conditions of illegal restrictions imposed by the US and its satellites, it is fundamentally important to protect legitimate economic relations from illegal pressure from the West," Lavrov said at a press conference in the Iraqi capital Baghdad with his counterpart Fuad Hussein.
Lavrov said the two countries expected to come to an agreement "very soon" on the date of the next meeting of an intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, and technical cooperation.
"There is no doubt that our economic operators, representatives of departments that are responsible for the economy, for energy, will be guided by the national interests of each of the parties. And with this approach, mutually acceptable solutions can always be found," he added.
Lavrov also said that the parties discussed economic relations in detail, reaffirming a comment by Hussein that Russian oil companies had very serious investments of more than $13 billion in the country.
He also underlined Moscow's support for the Iraqi government's efforts to ensure security and combat terrorism.
"We expressed our full support for the efforts being made by the government headed by (Iraqi) Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani to improve the situation, to normalize relations between Baghdad and Erbil, to ensure security and combat terrorism," he said.
Lavrov arrived in Baghdad on Sunday for an official visit, during which he was also received by Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid, Prime Minister al-Sudani, parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi, and met with former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.