Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Moscow is prepared to support Iraq in its fight against the ISIL terrorist group and strengthen military-technical assistance to Baghdad.
Lavrov made his comments during a March 19 meeting in Moscow with his Iraqi counterpart, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
“Mr. Jaafari informed us about the situation in Iraq, which is repelling a terrorist attack. We reaffirmed our solidarity with the leadership of a country that is friendly to us, and reaffirmed our strong commitment to ongoing assistance to Baghdad in order to strengthen its defense in the face of this threat, to ensure the unity and territorial integrity of this state and the noninterference by external [forces]in its internal affairs,” Lavrov told reporters following the meeting.
Lavrov has previously pledged to provide military and other assistance to Iraq and Syria in what Moscow calls the “fight against terrorism.” In comments in September, he said that Moscow’s assistance was aimed at “ensuring the integrity” of Iraq.
In June, Russia provided Iraq with Su-25 jets and expert assistance to aid the country in its fight against the ISIL group, in a move that was seen at the time as an implicit rebuke to the United States.