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Analysis: Impact of the withdrawal


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The number of non-Iraqi nationals held in Iraq has grown to about 40.

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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Russia is offering to airlift around 800 workers from Iraq after a spate of kidnappings. CNN's Ryan Chilcote examines what the move will mean for contractors, and Iraqis.

Russia's top contractor -- the state-owned company Teknopromexport, which was building a power station near Baghdad -- is evacuating all 370 of its employees.

The company employed more than half of the Russian citizens working in Iraq.

That is significant because it means this power plant, which they have been trying to build since 1984, will now be delayed yet again.

It is also significant, the company tells us, because they employ about 2,000 Iraqis in that area, and all of those Iraqis will, with this evacuation, be out of a pay check, as that project is now mothballed until the situation changes for the better.

As far as Inter Energo Servis (IES) goes -- the company whose employees were freed on Tuesday -- that company says it has 365 employees in Iraq, but it is making each individual employee make the decision whether they want to stay or be evacuated back to Moscow.

Many of them probably will stay, because the pay is good in Iraq and regardless, IES says they will have enough people in Iraq to continue their work -- they are repairing three different power stations around Baghdad.

Of course as you know, electricity -- or rather the lack of electricity -- is a very big issue in Iraq.

In other areas, LUKoil, one of Russia's largest oil companies, they say they only have a handful of specialists in the country and this won't affect them very much at all.

They are going to keep their people there, they are going to watch the security situation, they haven't broken ground or starting drilling that oil field that they are going to control yet anyway.

A lot of Russian companies, it would appear, are still on the fence. They are going to watch what happens inside Baghdad and Iraq over the next couple of days.

So far it looks like half of them -- or at least half of the Russian civilians working in Iraq -- are going to pull out.


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