Putin to Kurdistan24: Peshmerga courageous, efficient in fighting terrorism

“Russia has always had a special and very good relationship with the Kurds.”

MOSCOW, Russia (Kurdistan24) – Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been very courageous and efficient in the fight against international terrorism, Putin told a Kurdistan24 correspondent on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual press conference in Moscow that similar to the Q& A sessions in the past few years lasted for several hours.

“That young man is so beautifully dressed, it is impossible to pass over him,” Putin said, referring to the traditional Kurdish garment of Kurdistan24 Correspondent in Moscow, Khoshawi Mohammed.

Mohammed asked Putin about Russia's position on the Kurdish move of self-determination in Iraq whose Peshmerga forces have played a key role in defeating the Islamic State (IS) in the past few years.

“Russia has always had a special and very good relationship with the Kurds,” Putin told Kurdistan24. “Kurds had a very difficult past.”

He referred to the current situation in the Middle East and told Kurdistan24, “I can only reaffirm that the Peshmerga, the Kurdish units have been very courageous in fighting the international terrorism and very efficient in the battles.”

Commenting on the Kurdish move toward independence, Putin continued, “As for sovereignty and independence, we proceed from the premise that we need to act according to the international law.”

“Ultimately, the legitimate rights of the Kurds will be ensured, but what will be the form and how, it depends on Iraqis and Kurds themselves. We have been and would continue to be in contact with Baghdad and Kurds, but we will not interfere in domestic affairs of Iraq,” Russian President added.

Kurdistan Region is currently home to over 1.8 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled from Syria and other parts of Iraq due to the threat of the IS. Refugees and IDPs make 30 percent of the Kurdistan Region’s total population.


Editing by Ava Homa