In a previous message titled, "The Kurds & Saddam's
Army" we showed how the Scriptures of Jeremiah 50 &
51, which prophecy of the final destruction of Iraq, cannot take
place until a number of ancient named countries come against
it from its' north. The Medes, which are the modern-day Kurds,
were singled out in the message as one group of the peoples listed
who have not participated in the war against Iraq as of yet.
We will now look at Jeremiah 51:27 where Ashchenaz and Minni
are listed as two more of the northern countries that will take
part in the final crushing defeat of Iraq and according to Jer.
50:10, will be satisfied with their share of the plunder they
Ashchenaz and Minni were located in the region now known as
southern Russia and the former U.S.S.R.'s Armenia.
Although Russia continually supported Saddam Hussein and voted
against the U.N. taking any action against Iraq, there had always
been an underlying motive for its allegiance, oil.
Iraq owes Russia a tremendous amount of money, about 7.6 billion
dollars worth, and Russia was confident it would be repaid as
long as Saddam Hussein's regime remained in power and received
income from oil sales, but more importantly, Russia received
lucrative opportunities from Saddam Hussein concerning oil.
In the following articles we will see how oil was the main
reason for Russia's past favoritism towards Iraq and how the
issue of oil has brought about a changing tide of Russian opinion
regarding Iraq; so much so that just as predicted by analysts,
now supports the forced regime change and is reportedly ready
to commit troops to some future military action.
Bible prophecy assures us that Russian troops will one day
be going to war against Iraq with the greatest of severity in
the not too distant future.
Quoting first from the Denver Post article of Oct. 24, 02
which headlined, "Russia's economy tied to fate of Iraqi
oil" we read, "Russia has a lot at state in the debate
over Iraq's future; its oil economy.
Russian oil companies have extensive interests in Iraq that
reach back to Soviet times, when the two countries were allied.
Revenue from Russia's own oil production is crucial to the
government's budget, making the country very sensitive to any
sudden swings in world oil prices that might be touched off by
As many as 300 Russian companies now do business with Iraq,
under a U.N. program set up in 1996 permitting Baghdad, which
is under a trade embargo, to sell some oil to pay for essential
imports such as food and medicine. Russian companies control
the rights to sell 40 percent of Iraq's oil on world markets.
But the real prizes are Iraq's oil fields, which are now producing
at far below their potential.
Iraq's 's reserves are second in size only to Saudi Arabia's,
and Iraq has offered Russian companies development rights to
some of its richest fields.
About 10 Russian companies have development agreements with
Iraq, not all of them formalized into contracts. Two, Lukoil
and Tatneft, are mainly publicly traded; the Russian state controls
many of the others, including Slavneft, Rosneft, and the Russian
natural-gas monopoly, Gazprom.
Zarubezhneft, a smaller state-owned company operating in Iraq
since the late 1960's that has acted as the coordinator of Russian
oil business there, estimates that there are 70 billion barrels
of oil, more than half of Iraq's total reserves, in the fields
covered by the Russian companies' deals with Baghdad.
"It's huge, it's a colossal amount," said Nikolai
Tokarev, general director of Zarubezhneft and a member of a Russian
government commission on Iraq.
But very little oil is being produced now at the fields because
of the embargo. Lukoil, Russia's largest oil company, has a majority
stake in Iraq's giant West Qurna oil field, with an estimated
7 billion barrels of recoverable oil, but has yet to get any
of it out of the ground.
The Russian companies are worried that if military action by
the United States pries Iraq loose from Saddam Hussein's grip,
it will also break their own hold on these potentially lucrative
"If there is military action, the prospects for us in
Iraq will be zero," Tokarev said in an interview. "Do
Americans need us in Iraq? Of course not. Russian companies will
lose the oil forever if the Americans come."
The Russian state also has direct financial interests in Iraq,
in the form of about $7.6 billion in debts Iraq ran up with the
Soviet Union that have not yet been repaid. Russia also has a
huge stake in keeping the world oil market from being flooded
by new production from Iraq that would drive prices down.
"Russia needs Iraq economically," said Aleksel Arbatov,
deputy chairman of the defense committee in the Russian parliament.
"Iraq acknowledges its debt to Russia; a new regime might
If the new regime - favorably inclined toward Americans - sells
oil without limits, "our budget will collapse."
The Bush administration has argued that Russia stands to gain
more from a government change in Baghdad than from its current
business ties there, especially from the lifting of the economic
sanctions that have hobbled business for 12 years. Still, American
officials say they cannot give any guarantees.
"We've made it clear to them that we understand their
economic interests," said a senior American official. "It
does not mean we'll sign blank checks. The approach will be to
offer them a level playing field."
That position seemed to suit President Vladimir Putin of Russia,
who commented at a joint news conference with Prime Minister
Tony Blair of Britain in Moscow last week that he had not invited
Blair to an "Oriental bazaar," implying he was not
bargaining with Blair over Iraq."
Keep in mind Russia's expressed concern that a new Iraqi regime,
favorably inclined toward American oil interests, could cause
the Russian budget to collapse when considering why Russia is
allowing America to shoulder the war efforts at present.
On Dec. 16, 02 a Denver Post article which headlined,
"Russia slams Iraq for nixing oil deal" pinpointed
the issues that began to turn Russia away from backing Saddam
Hussein and started its consideration of the spoils that would
come to those who conquered Iraq. The issues were money and of
We quote, "Russia angrily assailed Iraq on Sunday for
its decision to cancel a major oil contract with a top Russian
company - a surprise slap from an ally as Moscow pushes for a
political settlement in the Iraq standoff with the United Nations.
Abbas Khalaf, Iraq's ambassador to Moscow, said earlier Sunday
that the Iraqi government had severed the 1997 contract with
Russia's largest oil company, Lukoil, because it had failed to
start work at the West Qurna-2 field.
He shrugged off Lukoil's claim that the deal was hampered by
U.N. sanctions against Iraq.
"Lukoil has made no investment whatsoever, it has just
signed the contract and left," Khalaf said at a news conference,
adding that other Russian companies had worked in Iraq despite
Moscow responded to the cancellation, first announced Thursday,
with its harshest criticism of Baghdad to date.
"Such a move can only be interpreted as running contrary
to the friendly character of Russian-Iraqi relations and the
level of bilateral cooperation in different areas," the
Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry strongly backed Lukoil, saying that "no Russian
company can violate the sanctions regime." It said the problem
cannot be solved by unilateral action and urged Baghdad to talk
to Lukoil to resolve the dispute.
The ministry said Russia was particularly annoyed by the cancellation
after its opposition to unilateral U.S. action in Iraq.
"It evokes bewilderment that the step was taken at the
moment when Russia was trying to defuse tension around Iraq and
striving to solve the Iraqi issue by peaceful political means
together with other countries," the statement said.
Russia last month backed the U.N. Security Council's tough
resolution demanding Iraq comply with weapons inspectors, but
it warned the United States against using force without explicit
Lukoil vice president Leonid Fedun described Iraq's decision
to break the contract as "an attempt to somehow influence
or even punish the Russian side for its, as Iraq sees it, failure
to prevent the U.N. Security Council from voting on sending weapons
inspectors to Iraq," the Interfax news agency reported.
Khalaf flatly rejected allegations that the decision had anything
to do with politics. He said he was aware of reports that the
company was talking to the United States in a bid to secure its
interests in Iraq if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is ousted, but
he refused to comment further.
President Bush has assured Russian President Vladimir Putin
that Russia would be a major player in rebuilding a postwar Iraq
- a promise intended to quell Moscow's fears that a new Iraqi
government might renege on Baghdad's $7 billion Soviet-era debt
to Moscow and snub Russian firms in favor of U.S. and other Western
Just two days later the Denver Post reported in an article
titled, "Iraq says Russian oil pact ended because firm,
Hussein foes met" that Iraq drew a line in the sand with
its old Russian ally, and just as prophesied has set Russia on
having to think of another way to get hold of its riches.
According to God's Word the tide had to turn. Quoting we read,
"Iraq said it canceled a large oil contract with a Russian
oil company because executives from the company had met with
the Iraqi opposition-in-exile.
Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, said in an interview
with the National Post, the Canadian newspaper, that the contract
with Lukoil, Russia's largest oil company, was canceled because
it had discussed the fate of a major oil field with opponents
of President Saddam Hussein.
"Lukoil went to Washington to get assurances that their
contract will be implemented after the removal of the Iraqi regime,"
Aziz said in the interview. "This is outrageous of them
because they signed a contract with us. Such conduct cannot be
It was the starkest statement yet by an Iraqi official about
last week's canceling of the multibillion-dollar contract. It
was also a shift in reasoning by Iraq, which until now had said
the contract was rescinded because Lukoil had delayed development
at the West Qurna oil field.
A Lukoil vice president, Leonid Fedun, said he was unaware
of such meetings and reiterated that the company was unable to
begin developing the field because of constraints imposed by
U.N. economic sanctions .Fedun said Lukoil executives had met
with American officials this fall, but said they had not discussed
Iraq's abrupt cancellation of Lukoil's contract severed the
single most important tie between the two countries at a time
when the United States is threatening to go to war against Iraq
over what it says is Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
Moscow has been Baghdad's strongest supporter, in part because
of the oil contract, political analysts said, adding that the
broken contract might lessen Russia's resistance to military
We now move on to what might erroneously be called post-war
Iraq to a May 17, 04 Denver Post article which headlined,
"U.S. Russia discuss future of Iraq." In this article
we find that Russia now supports the Iraqi regime change. There
is no mention of owed money or oil, but as we have shown these
two items are at the heart of every decision Russia makes about
Iraq. Russia will move on Iraq when the time is right, but for
now its leaders wait anxiously as they play the political game
of restrained involvement.
We quote, "The united States and Russia are now "on
the same page" regarding the future of Iraq despite past
disputes, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said after
consultations on a new U.N. resolution guiding the transfer of
limited authority to an Iraqi government this summer.
Rice met with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend
to discuss the next stage in the Iraq occupation and solicit
cooperation in fashioning a new Security Council resolution conferring
legitimacy on an interim government after June 30. Although she
proposed no specific language and won no public commitments,
she pronounced herself satisfied with the talks.
"We and Russia are, so to speak, on the same page now
about how we move forward," Rice said in an interview with
the "Namedni" news program on Russia's NTV television..."No
matter how we got into Iraq and disagreements we might have had
in the past, everybody agrees that the most important thing now
is to have a stable Iraq, to move forward with a resolution at
the United Nations Security Council."
We were recently informed from a saint in Memphis that Russia
intends to send 50,000 troops to Iraq. We do not have any documentation
to support this report at this time, but have little reason to
doubt Russian troops will one day be in Iraq according to Scripture.
In the meantime it remains to Russia's advantage to let the
United States deal with the chaos in Iraq. While the United States
depletes its own resources against elusive enemies and does
not reap any of the anticipated benefits from the Iraqi oil fields
due to sabotage, Russia sits back and waits as its own position
for the future strengthens. Contrary to what many want to believe,
Russia has not lost the ability to recoup its position as a recognized
Two recent news items, read in light of Bible prophecy, illustrate
this certainty. The underlying fact is that the war in Iraq is
taking an ever increasing toll, so much so that an Aug, 18, 04
"Dallas Morning News" article which headlined, "Germans
see U.S. pullout as retaliation" reported that "tens
of thousands of U.S. troops will be withdrawn from [Germany]"
and that, "as many as 70,000 of the 100,000 U.S. troops
in Germany and Asia" will be redeployed in the future.
In our Rapture Watch message titled, "The Scythians Victories
& Defeat" we shared how prophecy reveals that Russia
is to share in a devastating victory over Iraq and that then
within a matter of years be defeated itself as it makes the fatal
mistake of attacking Israel.
What is significant to this message is that in Ezekiel 38:6
one of the countries listed to join in with the Russian invasion
is Gomer. Gomer is modern-day Germany. The article about Germany
that we quoted from emphasized the fact that Germany is expecting
economic hard times with the loss of U.S. troops as billions
of dollars in military contracts are moved elsewhere.
East Germany used to be Russia's responsibility until the
fall of the Berlin Wall. Suddenly what started off as a glorious
victory for democracy turned into an economic and political burden
for West Germany. As much as west Germans influenced the reunited
east, the east likewise, and in some ways more so, influenced
Russia did not suffer as big of a setback as many would like
to believe. Communist operatives gained a tremendous foothold
in West Germany. Germany's siding with Russia against the U.S.
over the Iraq issue is just one example while many Germans, according
to the "Dallas Morning News" article, believe the U.S.
redeployment out of Germany is in fact a retaliatory move for
Germany's stand with Russia over Iraq.
The prophesied political climate of Germany continues to develop
as Russian influence in the nations affairs becomes more pronounced.
At the same time, additional pressure is being put upon the world
oil market as production of 1.7 million barrels of Russian oil
is threatened by the Russian governments efforts to collect
$3.4 billion in back taxes from Russian oil-giant Yukos. This
action could force the company into bankruptcy (Russia controversy,
"Iraq fighting sends up price," Associated Press, Aug.
Meanwhile an Aug. 20, 04 Denver Post headline stated
"Rising crude [oil] price threatens U.S. economy."
Global, political and economic upheavals can be used by the innovative
to bring about a welcome reshuffling of the geo-political deck.
We can rest assured by studying end time Bible prophecy that
countries with expansionist views have their eyes set on the
end game of "who will rule the world" and make no mistake
that Russia, since ancient times, has expansionist desires. Historical
writings confirm that these people of Ashchenaz were a terror
to their neighbors and were called barbarians. Later they were
called the Scythians, and according to Josephus were still identified
Colossians 3:11 speaks in tandem of Barbarians and Scythians
while making it clear that all can be forgiven for their sins
through the Risen Lord Jesus and that all who have been born-again
and justified by His sacrifice upon the cross are one in Christ.
The prophesied curse of a country that opposes God as a whole
is not an indictment against any individual born of that nation.
All have the free choice to rise or fall before Christ by their
own freewill. A simple move of faith on their part to trust in
the Living Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will immediately and
forever deliver them from God's wrath. They will at the very
moment of their new birth by the Holy Spirit, inherit the righteousness
of the Son of God, which was purchased by His own blood as a
gift for all who will have faith in Him alone for salvation.
There is absolutely nothing else a person must or can do to
receive forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.