Russian Ambassador: We respect Kurdish independence
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Russia will respect Kurds’ decision to declare independence, said Russian Ambassador to Iraq Ilya Morgunov on Thursday.
In an exclusive statement to Kurdistan24, Morgunov stated that Russia supports federalism in Iraq. “As I have said before, we do not reject federalism, and we are not against people deciding on self-determination.”
He also explained that there is a difference between a referendum and declaring independence. “I have mentioned in my previous meetings with the officials of the Kurdistan Region that holding referendum does not necessarily mean declaring independence,” Morgunov said.
Regarding the Kurdish referendum, he stated, “We respect the decision of people. If Kurds choose independence, we will respect it.”
In the past couple of years, the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has pushed forward the case of Kurdish referendum and independence in the Region.
“Everyone should know that the price of Kurds' sacrifices is much bigger than independence, and the entire world is responsible for these [tragedies],” read the statement released on March 6, 2016.
In a recent interview, Barzani affirmed that dialogue and negotiations with neighboring countries, including Iraq, Iran and Turkey, will be the basis for independence.
He pointed out that the Middle East is already re-mapped. “There has already been a redrawing of the Middle East…If you look at the [region], the old borders are only on paper. There are new realities on the ground."
Reporting by Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany