Iraq says decision on Russian wheat imports could be months away

Iraq, which sources its wheat from Australia, the United States and Canada, has specific requirements for its imports. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 June 2019

Iraq says decision on Russian wheat imports could be months away

  • Local wheat production so far from this year’s harvest was 2.5 million tons
  • “We hope that our production is going up and this will affect what we do for the future,” an official said

LONDON: Iraq is still holding discussions over possible wheat imports with Russia and it could be months before any outcome is known, Iraq’s deputy trade minister said on Tuesday.
“Up until now we cannot say whether we will take or not — it depends on the results,” Haitham Jameel Ismail Al-Khshali said.
Al-Khshali said a technical group of Iraqi specialists was looking into the issue.
“It will take some time ... maybe a few months,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of an International Grains Council conference in London.
Iraq, which sources its wheat from Australia, the United States and Canada, has specific requirements for its imports.
“We are open to all countries in the world,” Al-Khshali said.
“With Russia we are not finished yet — we cannot announce now something until all these talks are finished.”
Al-Khshali said local wheat production so far from this year’s harvest was 2.5 million tons, adding it potentially could reach 4 million or 5 million tons.
When asked about wheat imports this year, he said “until now we cannot say — it depends on our production.”
“We hope that our production is going up and this will affect what we do for the future,” he added.
Interfax quoted Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih as saying on Monday that Riyadh may allow deliveries of Russian wheat in July.
Al-Falih said the Saudi side had not yet finished testing Russian wheat, adding he hoped a decision would be reached in July.


BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

Updated 13 July 2020

BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei
  • British PM in January granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network

LONDON: BT CEO Philip Jansen urged the British government on Monday not to move too fast to ban China’s Huawei from the 5G network, cautioning that there could be outages and even security issues if it did.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei, after intense pressure from the United States to ban the Chinese telecoms behemoth from Western 5G networks.
Johnson in January defied President Donald Trump and granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network, but the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the coronavirus crisis and a row over Hong Kong has changed the mood in London.
“If you are to try not to have Huawei at all, ideally we would want seven years and we could probably do it in five,” Jansen told BBC radio.
Asked what the risks would be if telecoms operators were told to do it in less than five years, Jansen said: “We need to make sure that any change of direction does not lead to more risk in the short term.”
“If we get to a situation where things need to go very, very fast, then you are into a situation where potentially service for 24 million BT Group mobile customers is put into question — outages,” he said.
In what some have compared to the Cold War antagonism with the Soviet Union, the United States is worried that 5G dominance is a milestone toward Chinese technological supremacy that could define the geopolitics of the 21st century.
The United States says Huawei is an agent of the Chinese Communist State and cannot be trusted.
Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, has said the United States wants to frustrate its growth because no US company could offer the same range of technology at a competitive price.