Maksimov made this known in an interview with Sputnik.“There are currently serious risks for a partial or complete suspension of the activities of major foreign economic operators involved in the implementation of large-scale projects for the exploration, development, and production of hydrocarbons in key oil and gas fields of Iraq as general contractors or subcontractors,” Maksimov said.
The ambassador recalled that in early January, U.S. oil company ExxonMobil had completely evacuated its personnel from the strategically important West Qurna 1 oil field in southeastern Iraq.
Maksimov noted that the Russian embassy held regular meetings on security issues with representatives of Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, Bashneft, and other Russian companies working in Iraq.
“We comprehensively monitor the situation around our facilities and send relevant recommendations to companies, which are updated based on the changing situation … Of course, if there is a real threat to the safety of employees of Russian companies and contractors.
“At the same time, I hope we will not face crisis scenarios,” the ambassador said. When asked to comment on reports about Iraq’s plans to buy Russia’s S-400 air defence systems, the ambassador said that Moscow had not yet received an official request from Baghdad.
“The (Iraqi) interest in Russian air defence systems, including S-400, has increased.
“If some requests come from the Iraqi side, we will study them,” the diplomat said. In January, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Iraqi parliament members, that the country had already started consultations with Russia on the possible purchase of S-400s.
The U.S. has threatened to sanction Baghdad if it went through with the acquisition. Iraq has been facing nationwide anti-government protests since October, with protesters demanding an end to corruption, improved living standards, and the government’s resignation.