Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Baghdad on Oct. 7. Since his last trip more than five years ago, the situation in Iraq and the region has changed dramatically. Lavrov also visited Erbil, the first time the top Russian diplomat has visited Iraqi Kurdistan.
The visit to Iraq took place during a period of unrest and hardships for the country’s population. Weeklong protests saw more than 100 killed and over 6,000 injured. The violence disrupted the foreign minister's visit as he had to cancel his stay in the capital. Nevertheless, Lavrov’s agenda, though cut down to one day, included meetings with all key figures of Iraq’s government: President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi and Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim, who also co-chairs the Inter-Governmental Russian-Iraqi Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation from the Iraqi side.