Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his accompanying delegation met Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the second day of Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.
In the meeting, attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, and a number of KRG senior officials, Mr. Lavrov highlighted the relations between the Kurdistan Region and Russia, expressing his country’s willingness to further develop them.
He also discussed the active presence of Russian companies in the Kurdistan Region in the field of energy.
Mr. Lavrov commended the people, the Government and the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region for the role they play in confronting and repulsing the threat of the Islamic State terrorist group, ISIS.
He also stressed that all the parties should cooperate in the fight against ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria. In this regard, he commended the coordination between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces.
He reaffirmed his country’s support for settling the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad through dialogue.
Prime Minister Barzani expressed his satisfaction with the level of relations between the Kurdistan Region and Russian Federation, and thanked the Russian government for its support in the fight against ISIS.
Prime Minister Barzani stated that despite major challenges and hardship the Kurdistan Region has been going through, it has been able to overcome these difficulties to a large extend.
The Kurdistan Region has, since early 2014, been facing a series of problems, namely Baghdad’s withholding of its annual budget, the war against terrorism, the burden of sheltering and offering assistance to close to two million displaced people and refugees, and the drop in oil price.
Prime Minister Barzani said it is largely expected that the economic situation will gradually improve; the reason why he called for Russian companies to start investing in the Kurdistan Region.
Prime Minister Barzani stressed that the Kurdistan Region has good relations with its neighbors and is looking forward to develp its relations with member countries of the international community, particularly with the Russian Federation.