Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 14, 2017. Photo: AP
MOSCOW, Russia – Rosneft’s oil deals with the KRG are beneficial to all parties, including Iraq, and Russia will continue to develop relations with Kurds, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Thursday.
“Our companies such as Rosneft work in Iraqi Kurdistan. We believe this benefits Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Russian economy,” Putin stated in answer to a question from Rudaw’s Khalid Hussein during his annual press conference that can last hours.
Rosneft has signed multiple oil contracts with the KRG – a move Baghdad has complained about.
Asserting that oil is a sovereign resource, Iraq’s Oil Ministry recently stated that all contracts “must be signed with the federal government.”
The ministry was responding to a statement from Russia’s Minister of Energy Alexander Novak that Baghdad “has no complaints about our projects in the Kurdistan territory.”
“Our relations generally with Kurdistan and Kurds are good and historically rooted, and there is a good degree of trust in our relationships,” Putin said on Thursday.
“There is no barrier in the way of us to develop our relations with the Kurdish people. We will do it.”
Regarding Kurdistan’s independence referendum and the resulting military clashes and frozen political relations, Putin said that disputes should be resolved “within the context of the constitution and far from violence by respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.”