Russia to start coup in Iraq?

By WND Staff

Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily.com has entered into an historic content-sharing agreement with Pravda online, the largest Russian cyber-news source on the Internet. Pravda.ru provides English versions of its stories to WND on an exclusive basis, while posting WorldNetDaily stories and columns on its newssite in both English and Russian.

The specter of a U.S. attack on Iraq has Russian officials concerned about the nation’s oil contracts with Saddam Hussein, causing talk that a Russian-led coup may be the only way to protect Moscow’s interests, reports Pravda online.

According to the Pravda report, an opposition leader in Iraq has said that in the event of the overthrow of Saddam by U.S. forces, Iraq’s oil contracts with the United States will take priority over those of Russia, France and other countries.

As a result, Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that he will stand up for the interests of Russian oil producers in Iraq. Also, Russian officials at the U.N. yesterday rejected the latest U.S.-proposed Iraq resolution.

A spokesman for the opposition Iraqi National Congress, Sharaf bin Ali Hussein, has announced that all oil contracts will be reconsidered if the opposition comes to power in Iraq, reports Pravda. He particularly mentioned contracts with Russian and French oil companies. Ali Hussein added that the contracts will not necessarily be eliminated. He did promise, however, that priority will be given to American oil companies.

To counter Ali Hussein’s intentions, some in Russia reportedly are talking about the nation’s military organizing its own coup in Iraq. Russia has no vital interests in other countries of the Middle East, so protecting its interests in Iraq is seen as crucial, reports Pravda online.

Russian oil giant LUKOIL’s contract for the development of Iraqi oil deposits is estimated to be worth $20 billion. The extraction of oil cannot begin until the U.N. sanctions are lifted, but the company has already invested a great deal of money in the development of the deposit.

The president of LUKOIL, Vagit Alekperov, has discussed with Putin the issue of his company’s controlling stock in the Iraqi oil project.

Alekperov says that neither Washington nor the Kremlin promised him any guarantees. However, he is confident that his contract will remain legal, no matter what kind of future regime Iraq might have.

“Our contract was signed according to the norms of the international law. I am sure that Iraqi laws will be observed regardless of events,” said Alekperov.

LUKOIL Vice President Leonid Fedun earlier stated that if the new Iraqi regime is not friendly to Russia, it might ruin the plans of the company.

“We do not hear any statements from the American government about the execution of the current contracts. As far as I can understand, the Russian leadership must be interested in these questions,” commented Fedun.

What if Russia were to deploy troops to Baghdad in its own coup attempt? In the words of a Pravda analyst, “This no longer seems to be the idea of a lunatic. … It could provoke a crisis that the CIA and the U.S. State Department analysts did not even think of. Then, it will be the time for a different kind of world order, taking into consideration everybody’s interests.”