"The Russian president’s words are a very important step. We consider them as readiness to recognize independence of Iraqi Kurdistan if it is formalized in accordance with the international legislation," Hoshawi Babakr told RIA Novosti.
Earlier in the day, Putin said rights of the Kurdish people would eventually be enforced and that Russia would not interfere in Iraq's internal affairs. He also noted Russia had always had friendly relations with Kurds.
"Since as early as 18th —19th centuries, Kurds have had good relations with Russia, and now we regard it as a savior, rely on its support," Babakr stressed.
Kurdistan is an autonomous region of Iraq. Its status is formalized in the country’s Constitution.