Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday received a delegation from the Russian Federation that included President Vladimir Putin’s Envoy to the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Chairman of Gazprom Neft, Alexander Dyukov, and Deputy Energy Minister, Yuri Sentyurin.
The delegation highlighted historic relations between Kurdistan and Russia, and their intention to strengthen those relations, particularly in the economic and cultural fields.
The Chairman of Gazprom Neft, Mr. Dyukov, briefed Prime Minister Barzani on the activities and progress the company has achieved in the Kurdistan Region, expressing his satisfaction with the level of cooperation his company receives from the Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG, especially the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Mr. Dyukov announced that Gazprom Neft plans to raise the volume of his company’s investment in the Region.
Prime Minister Barzani expressed to the delegation his appreciation for their visit and for organizing the inauguration ceremony for introducing of the book, “The Nation of Epics: Kurdish Culture in the Eyes of Russian Scholars”, which was compiled and written by scholars from the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies and the Russian Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, and published by Gazprom Neft.
He reiterated that cultural relations will lead to strengthening political and economic relations. He expressed his appreciation to the Russian Federation for its readiness to further develop relations with Kurdistan Region.
Prime Minister Barzani also discussed the war against the Islamic State terrorist organization, also known as ISIS, and the courage and bravery of Peshmerga forces who counter this threat.
He pointed out that due to this brutal conflict the Kurdistan Region endures a heavy economic burden that has been made even more difficult due to inadequate receipt of agreed Budget share from the Iraqi Federal Government. He emphasised this shortfall is occurring at the time when the KRG serving the needs of more than 1.5 million displaced people who fled to the Region seeking refuge from the conflict. The dramatic decline in oil prices has compounded the burden.
Prime Minister Barzani expressed his hope that the Russian Federation will assist the Kurdistan Region to effectively pass through this very difficult period.