Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani speaking with Rudaw in St. Petersburg. Photo: Rudaw TV
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – A long term contract signed on Friday with Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft marks a “new beginning in developing relations between the Kurdistan Region and Russia” and the start of restoring confidence in the Region’s markets, said Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
“This is certainly a sign of restoring trust after all these years of problems in the Kurdistan Region, especially the budget cut, the war on ISIS, 1,800,000 refugees. I think this is all, after all these problems, a good beginning for the restoration of trust in the markets of Kurdistan,” Barzani told Rudaw in the northern Russian city.
He expressed hope that the agreement will be the start of a “long-term economic relationship with Russia.”
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed a series of documents with Rosneft
that aim to expand cooperation between the two “in exploration and production of hydrocarbons, commerce and logistics,” a statement from Rosneft detailed, describing the Kurdistan Region as “one of the key Middle East regions.”
Barzani is in Russia to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. He is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and Minister of Natural Resources Dr. Ashti Hawrami.
The Kurdish delegation also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They discussed “bilateral relations and the development of economic relations with the Kurdistan Region,” as well as the war with ISIS, Barzani detailed.
Expanding relations was also on the agenda in a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novakand.
“Minister Novak said that his government encourages Russian companies to do business in Kurdistan, especially in the oil and gas sector,” a statement from the KRG read.
Barzani hailed the agreements and discussions, saying “We hope this marks the beginning of further agreements with countries in the energy and all other sectors.”