Contrary to what is said, work in Iraq today is possible, even though physical risks are too great. Some companies, such as Interenergoservis, are established in the country. Danger can mainly be found in the center of Iraq, mostly in Baghdad, in the Sunni triangle. As everybody wants to ensure his presence, negotiations don’t stop. Corruption is still there, as in Saddam’s days, but it was stronger then. Of course, people were afraid. I think that, as a state machine, Iraq will continue to manage its economy. Let’s take the energy sector for instance, nothing has been privatized in it. Currently, it’s only in the territories regulated by the Kurds where business can be developed. They have a vast population, there are no disagreements between religious groups, there is a solid national structure served by loyal, armed forces.
Terrorists don’t try to scare a certain structure but common citizens. It’s them who own power beyond the green line at dusk and for the night. The political power structure during Saddam’s regime was similar to that of the Soviet and German systems, the society being controlled by the baasists who are still present. Losses were minimum, the summit gave Iraq to the Americans to prevent economy from collapsing. Even the Americans turned to them to use their authority and restore order. Those who perpetrate terrorist acts are a three-headed Hydra: the old baasists interested in this lack of order, the Muslims religious groups that are members of terrorist organizations and the foreign terrorist groups who took advantage of the opening of the borders. Most Russian companies are skeptic in the face of this situation; even those that lost large sums in the country are hardly active.
The Iraqi energy system is almost gone and completely paralyzed. The announced U.S. departure won’t make a big difference. They didn’t take the right time to leave Iraq so that the country could recover. In my opinion, the only solution left at the moment is a strict control of the situation by the Arab League.
Iraqi leaders are secretly sabotaging the decisions concerning Russia. They come from the American world and rely on their own networks. Neither did the “Oil For Food” program play a positive role. A brigade came to see us to tell us that they were taking care of the contracts with the UN and that they were receiving 10% of the contract. A system had been created by virtue of which if the Russians needed a contract, they had to go see the Americans and make an agreement. And vice versa.
It is impossible to understand what is going on in Iraq, not to mention Jordan, whose position today is that of a second Lebanon, aiming to become the economic and financial center of the Arab world. The whole thing is running smoothly. Also at a security level. All contracts have to go through Jordan banks. No project can be worked out without first turning to them. We keep good relations with Jordan but where interesting contracts are concerned we will have to wait for the war to end. I myself lost 60 million dollars in Iraq. If ever I found out that another person is taking care of my contracts, I would take him to court. I have worked in Iraq for 7 years and before the war there was not the slightest conflict between Christians and Muslims.

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Сегодня бизнес может развиваться лишь на территории, контролируемой курдами”, by Vladimir Semago,, June 23, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.