Russia-Iraqi Trade Up 40% In 2022

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The trade volumes may be relatively small in the larger scheme of things, however the total trade income between Russia and Iraq in the eight months January and August 2022 reached US$313.1 million, against a 2021 total of US$282.7 million. That represents a rough 40% increase if taken over the year.

Ilya Lobov, a commercial consul at the Russian embassy in Baghdad, has stated “This positive dynamic was influenced by a significant increase in the volume of purchases of our sunflower oil, wheat flour and animal feed.”

Both nations are carrying on close collaboration through the Russian-Iraqi Business Council and are searching for new chances.

Lobov commented that 2022’s Western restrictions on Russia have caused challenges.

“We note that the anti-Russian sanctions have become an additional negative factor on the path to strengthening bilateral cooperation. For example, financial settlements in international banks, especially in US dollars, have become more difficult. At the same time, our Iraqi partners understand the benefits and prospects of working together. There is an ongoing close dialogue to develop mutually acceptable solutions to solve all problems that arise,” he stated.

While the loss of Western markets, and the EU trade running into billions, Russia has been piecing together alternative markets and paying particular attention to developing smaller and more diverse markets than was the case before. This means that trade and development attention to detail is being placed upon smaller markets such as Iraq, but whose collective trade volumes are larger than those lost. This also fits in with the ‘Multi-polar strategy’ Moscow has been developing alongside China, which calls for greater involvement in global development strategy than the policies followed by the wealthier G7 nations. Iraq as a market may not be considered as especially attractive for the West – but the country is amongst the world’s top 5 oil energy plays. Russia’s developing relations with countries such as Iraq – which the United States largely destroyed in war – may in time become hugely significant as both China and Russia are better poised to snap up trade and development with lesser nations passing by Western radars.

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