ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister on Saturday said his country had reached a deal with the Iraqi government to support the work of Russian companies in the Kurdistan Region.
Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East, stated that the Iraqi government had expressed its readiness to lift restrictions affecting Russian companies due to disputes between Erbil and Baghdad.
According to Bogdanov, the Iraqi government would help the Russian oil companies in Iraq resolve operational issues created due to the restrictions Baghdad imposed on the Kurdistan Region following an independence referendum last September.
Bogdanov reiterated Moscow’s stance on supporting the work of Russian firms in Kurdistan, adding that “Russian companies will continue operating in Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Region.”
“All the operational problems created due to the restricting measures imposed on Erbil have been resolved in one way or another in coordination with the Iraqi federal authorities,” Bogdanov explained.
He also noted that Iraq was aware of the difficulties foreign businesses working in the country faced.
A few major Russian oil firms are currently operating in the Kurdistan Region, including Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil.
During an annual end-of-year press conference in late 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country shared important, long-term relations with the Kurds.
“Our relations with Kurdistan and the Kurds are historical, long-term, and good and [we share] a good trust,” Putin told reporters.
“Our companies, especially Rosneft, are working in the [Kurdistan Region],” the Russian President continued. “We believe this will benefit Iraq, Kurdistan, and, in particular, it benefits the Russian economy.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany