MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia supports Iraq's territorial integrity, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a referendum on independence held in Iraqi Kurdistan. Morever, Moscow calls for both Baghdad and Erbil to resolve all the disagreements strongly by peaceful means, the Russian Foreign Ministry added.
"In connection with the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Russian side considers it essential to avoid everything that could destabilize the situation in the Middle East. Our support for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq and other states of the Middle East remains unchanged. We believe all the disputable issues that exist between the federal authorities of Iraq and the leadership of the Kurdish Autonomous Region can and should be resolved through constructive and respectful dialogue designed to work out a mutually acceptable formula for coexistence within a single Iraqi state" the statement said.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the independence vote took place in Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan as well as in the disputed areas de jure controlled by Baghdad but under de facto control of Kurdish authorities. After 9 percent of votes had been counted, more than 93 percent of voters backed the independence of the region. Iraqi authorities said that the referendum was not legitimate and stressed that they would not conduct talks with the authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan on the issue of the vote.