ERBIL (Sputnik) – The Kurdistan Regional Government has signed deals with several Russian oil and gas factories and is glad about the development of partnership with Russia, the government spokesman told Sputnik.
"In more recent months the KRG signed contracts with several oil and energy companies in Russia and this is developing into a much more solid relationship with Russia and we are quite happy with this," Safeen Dizayee said.
Russia’s Gazprom Neft company, a Gazprom oil subsidiary, is working on three oil projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, in two of which, namely Shakal and Halabja, the company owns a majority stake.
In June, Rosneft and Iraqi Kurdistan signed a series of agreements with a 20-year timeframe on the cooperation on exploration and production of hydrocarbons.
Dizayee also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of the Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan Nechirvan Barzani had a fruitful meeting on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June.
Iraqi Kurdistan values the relationship it has with Russia and appreciates Moscow's renewed interest in the Middle East, the spokesman for the autonomous region's said.
"We understand the importance of this relationship with Russia and Russia’s importance in this region. And return of Russia into the Middle East, it’s something which we value," Safeen Dizayee said.
Dizayee said that the autonomous region had always had a good relationship with Russia and added that Kurdistan would welcome "any official visits between Erbil and Moscow."
The government spokesman said that the Middle East was an important region not only for Russia, but for the international community, which is interested in bringing stability to the region.
Dizayee also remarked on Kurdistan's active role in fighting the Daesh terrorist group, which has been one of the major threats not only in the region, but internationally as well. Daesh has seized vast territories in Iraq and Syria, however, in the recent months, it has been losing what it had previously gained. In mid-July, the Iraqi government said it had retaken control of the city of Mosul, formerly Daesh stronghold in Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region within Iraq, which is currently preparing to hold an independence referendum in September.