Putin: Russia-Kurdistan relations continue to develop, cannot be harmed
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday stated the historical relations between his country and the Kurdistan Region would never be harmed despite ongoing conflicts in the region.
During an annual end-of-year press conference, Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, said his country shared important, long-term relations with the Kurds.
He also added there were no roadblocks regarding the strengthening of bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and Russia.
“Generally, our relations with Kurdistan and the Kurds are historical, long-term, and good and there is a good trust in our relations,” Putin told reporters.
“Our companies, especially Rosneft, are working in the [Kurdistan Region],” the Russian President continued. “We believe this will benefit Iraq, Kurdistan, and, in particular, it benefits the Russian economy.”
He said Russia notices “the challenges facing Kurdistan on several sides,” noting that there is “no obstacle before us to develop our relations with the Kurdish people.”
“Russia will continue to work on enhancing such relations with the Kurds,” Putin added.
Regarding the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum for secession from Iraq, Putin said the Kurds decided to hold the vote, and the Kurdistan leadership even offered to freeze the results to begin a constructive dialogue with Baghdad.
On the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, the Russian President stressed that all the issues have to be resolved “within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution, away from violence, and with respect to the sovereignty and unity of Iraq.”