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Russia is launching an attempt to restore its commercial position in Iraq and to play a key role in rebuilding the country's oil industry. The question is on the agenda for the forthcoming summit between presidents Vladimir Putin and George Bush at Camp David in late September.
At stake is a raft of Saddam-era contracts and negotiations, including Lukoil's production-sharing agreement for the second stage of the 8bn bl West Qurna field, that are now in jeopardy.
An 18 August decree signed by President Putin details steps to implement UN resolution 1483 of 22 May, which lifted sanctions on Iraq. The decree eliminates all legal barriers to Russian firms doing …