Russia expressed anger on the 3rd October in regards to what it described as inappropriate treatment, at a diplomatic level, and at the hands of an unspecified security firm working in Iraq. According to the Foreign Ministry, security workers employed by a so-called "Global" company threatened to act violently while attempting to carry out a vehicle search. The incident is understood to have taken place at Iraq's Baghdad International Airport on the 1st October.
Although unconfirmed, the firm involved is thought to be Global Strategies Group, which is based in London.
As far as the Foreign Ministry is concerned, the employees' actions constituted a "rude violation" of internationally-recognised rules concerned with how foreign diplomats are treated. It added that "serious consequences" could have ensued. However, "Thanks to the restraint and composure of our diplomats and their clear and proper actions, the incident was resolved", the ministry concluded.
Russia's complaint comes amidst the current concerns regarding the role played by security firms in Iraq, in light of the incident on September 16th, in which employees of the US Blackwater firm opened fire. Subsequent reports, including those provided by Security International, indicate 11 people were killed as a consequence. In the wake of the shooting, Blackwater is now being investigated.
In respect of the Baghdad Airport incident, the Foreign Ministry is hopeful that it will be "reviewed with all seriousness by the official Iraqi authorities, including in the context of efforts toward the legal regulation of their relations with foreign private security structures."
Global Strategies Group operates at Baghdad International Airport, and has done so since the US-led Iraq invasion first began in 2003.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Russia has formally complained to the Moscow-based Iraqi Embassy. To date, an apology has been provided by Iraq's own Foreign Ministry.
Source - Security International's Middle East Correspondent
Recent related News Item:
Iraq Drafts New Security Law After Blackwater Shooting
Companies Supplying Security Officers
Companies Supplying Guard Services