Russian ambassador Maksim Maksimov and Erbil’s consul general, Victor Simakov, attended a meeting with Kurdistan’s Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, recently to discuss economic relations. Officials from Gazprom, a major Russian energy company, attended the meeting as well. Director general Sergei Petrov who is the lead authority in Erbil for the company was the delegate elected by the company for the meeting. Members of the meeting stressed the importance of advancing relations in all aspects of the economy. Barzani demonstrated willingness to aid Russia’s future investments in Iraqi-Kurdistan as per a Kurdish Regional Government statement. Currently, Gazprom is in control of oil production and exportation operations in Halabja which is near the southern reaches of the Kurdistan autonomous region.

Masoud Barzani also met with Russian diplomats as well as Masrour Barzani who is the national security chief for Kurdistan. Ambassador Maksimov, during the meet, highlighted the historical links between the Kurdish people and Russia. A Kurdistan Diplomatic Party statement read, “He also announced the Kurdistan Region has special importance for Russia and hoped that relations will be developed further.” Maksim Maksimov announced, during the meeting, that Russian oil organizations ware ready and eager to cooperate with the KRG and would happily participate in a bigger role as an economic enabler for the region. The Russian oil corporation Rosneft conducts business in Kurdistan’s oil fields and own’s nearly three-quarters of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s lines flowing towards Ceyhan.

Masoud Barzani expressed his appreciation for the Russian ambassadors and said they held, “friendly, realistic, and balanced stances of Russia in relation to the political situation and the challenges faced by the Kurdistan Region in the last couple of months.” Masrour Barzani also met with the ambassador, a statement from Barzani’s office read, “Chancellor Masrour Barzani received today Russian Ambassador to Iraq Maksim Maksimov and discussed the state of bilateral relations and a range of regional issues.” Apparently the men, “underscored the need to enhance the Kurdistan Region-Russia relationship, including political and economic relations,” adding that there was compelling case for, “a post-election Kurdistani coalition and unity within Kurdistan Region.”

Featured Image Courtesy of By KRG Office [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons