ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The high-ranking Kurdish delegation led by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Friday met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg.
As part of his visit to Russia, Barzani met Lavrov and his delegation during St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
“The meeting touched on economic relations with Russia and mechanisms to combat Da’esh [Islamic State (IS)] in the region,” Barzani told Kurdistan24 following his meeting.
“We discussed the current situation in Syria. We thanked them for their support in fighting against IS in Iraq and Syria in general,” Barzani said.
He also told reporters that the Kurdistan Region has long-standing historical ties with Russia, stating the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) seeks to expand relations with Russia politically and economically.
“Of course, now we have good relations [with Russia], and we hope they will improve,” Barzani concluded.
After the meeting with Lavrov, Barzani met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed bilateral ties and the fight against the jihadist group in the region.
Zirak Kamal, a political adviser to Barzani, told Kurdistan24 on Friday morning that after further deliberation on an economic agreement with the Russian energy sector, Putin and Barzani are expected to sign.
"With these agreements, Kurdistan and Russian relations will reach a new level which will benefit both sides," Kamal said.
Editing by G.H. Renaud