ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit the Kurdistan Region next month to meet with senior Kurdish officials, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Kurdistan 24 on Monday.
Lavrov will visit Baghdad first to meet with Iraqi officials before making his first official trip to the Kurdistan Region where he is expected to sit with top Kurdish leaders.
According to Bogdanov, the Russian foreign minister will meet with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, as well as Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
“Our foreign minister will make an official visit to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq for the first time,” he told Kurdistan 24.
“Russia has good relations with the Kurdistan Region President [Nechirvan] Barzani as well as Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and [KDP] President Masoud Barzani,” Bogdanov added.
“Lavrov will meet with the Kurdish leaders to speak about economic ties, energy development, trade coordination, military cooperation, and ways to further improve Erbil-Moscow ties.”
Ties between Erbil and Moscow have strengthened over the past few years, notably after the KRG signed an agreement with Russia’s state oil company, Rosneft, in October 2017.
In May 2018, a high-ranking Kurdish delegation led by then-Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani visited Moscow on an official invitation where they met with President Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral relations.
In the meeting with the Russian president, Barzani discussed bilateral ties and the fight against the so-called Islamic State in the region.
As part of his visit to Russia, Barzani also met Lavrov and his delegation during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), where they discussed economic relations between Kurdistan and Russia.
After the meeting Barzani announced that the Kurdistan Region has long-standing historical ties with Russia, stating that the KRG seeks to expand relations with Russia politically and economically.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany