05:49 GMT23 February 2020
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Moscow expects all repercussions, including for the region, would be taken into account should the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum take place.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hope that all repercussions, including for the region, would be taken into account should the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum take place.

    "We expect that when the final decisions are taken, everything linked to the political, geopolitical, demographic and economic repercussions of this step will be taken into account, bearing in mind that the Kurdish issue is broader than current Iraqi borders and affects the situation in a whole range of neighboring countries," Lavrov told the Rudaw television channel in an interview.

    The Russian minister expressed hope that the will of the Kurdish people would be expressed peacefully.

    "We assume that the legitimate aspirations of the Kurds, as well as other peoples, should be implemented within the framework of international law. This also has to do with the decision on holding the referendum, which was taken in Erbil as far as we understand," Lavrov added.

    Sergey Lavrov also stated that the economic interaction between Russia and Iraqi Kurdistan is rather active and Moscow is encouraging these relations as they do not hinder Russian-Iraqi relationship.

    "We notice mutual interest to the development of trade-economic and investment relations. We encourage these processes. As I said, our relations with Iraqi Kurdistan in terms of economy and investment do not cause any harm to our relations with the federal government in Baghdad… I think we are in the stage of the active economic interaction. We expect that the results will be beneficial for all participants," Lavrov said.

    The foreign minister noted that one of major Russian companies, Gazprom, was operating in Iraqi Kurdistan, with two sites developed with local companies and said that additional documents were signed during St.Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.

    The foreign minister added that the Kurdish diaspora played an important role in the development of the relations between Russia and Iraqi Kurdistan.

    Lavrov said that this relationship had been developing for years, so the latest visit of Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani did not bring the relations to a new level, but rather served as a continuation of the trend.

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    Iraqi Kurdistan to Hold Presidential, Parliamentary Elections on November 1
    Iran FM Says Kurdish Referendum 'Wrong Choice', Impacts Iraqi Security
    Tags:
    independence referendum, Sergei Lavrov, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq, Russia
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