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Russia: Companies To Buy Iraqi Oil

Moscow, 17 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Interfax news agency reports three Russian oil companies have signed contracts to buy more than 1 million tons of oil from Iraq under the U.N. oil-for-food deal.

Yuri Agababov, deputy director of Zarubezheneft, told the agency his company, together with the other two, Lukoil and Nafta-Moskva, have submitted the contracts to the United Nations for approval. Agababov said the first shipment would leave by January 10, provided the U.N. approves the contracts.

The oil-for-food deal, which went into effect last week, allows Iraq to sell $2 billion worth of oil for an initial period of 180 days to buy humanitarian goods for its people. All contracts under the deal are subject to U.N. approval.