2002 November 23 Saturday
Bush Signals Russia's Iraq Interest Will Be Protected

Russia's UN position on Iraq was all about money. Now Bush, by making his assurances public, has made it clear to the Russian government that the US will make sure Russia continues to earn money from Iraqi oil fields after Saddam's regime is gone.

Bush took such assurances to a more formal and public level when he told Russia's NTV Television on Thursday that if there is regime change in Baghdad, "we fully realize that Russia has economic interests in Iraq, as do other countries."

"Of course, these interests will be taken into account," he added.

The Bush Administration is even willing to make sure that world oil prices will stay high enough to prevent a Russian economic meltdown.

A high-ranking Russian foreign ministry official involved in negotiations with the United States over the U.N. resolution told an American visitor to Moscow this week that a "gentleman's agreement" had been reached with Washington on Iraq.

He said the deal centered on maintaining a price of oil at around $21 a barrel, the price used by Russian government planners for long-term budget estimates. Oil prices have been hovering around $25 a barrel for much of this year.

As I've stated previously, there is considerable irony in the argument that the US is going to fight Saddam for oil. Many of the opponents of the war against Saddam's regime come to their opposition in large part as a result of their own oil interests and other financial interests in the Iraqi regime and in world oil prices.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 23 08:46 PM  Politics Money


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