Sergei LavrovThe Iraqi and Russian foreign ministers have pledged cooperation on post-war reconstruction, including the lucrative oil sector, after a meeting in Moscow.

Russian private energy giant Lukoil has been lobbying to sign a contract for the West Qurna oil field. Lukoil had a deal with Saddam Hussein that was canceled by Iraq in 2002. Lukoil contends the cancellation was not legitimate.

Lavrov said that Lukoil hopes to tap West Qurna as part of a consortium with ConocoPhillips. The U.S. oil giant holds a 20-percent stake in Lukoil, and analysts have said it could help the Russian company return to developing the oil field. 

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s acting foreign minister, said: “The oil and natural gas sector, and power engineering have been traditional areas of our cooperation.” He said that Iraq’s foreign minister, Hoshiar al-Zibari had reaffirmed “his country’s interest in expanding Russia’s role in Iraq’s economic rehabilitation in the post-war period.”