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Baghdad asserts authority after Russia claims no contention over Kurdistan oil deals

Russia’s oil dealings with Kurdistan were not discussed when Novak met with Haider al-Abadi.

Baghdad asserts authority after Russia claims no contention over Kurdistan oil deals


Russia’s oil dealings with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were not discussed when Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s oil ministry stated on December 7, 2017, after Novak said Baghdad had no problems with Russia doing business with the KRG.

«The Iraqi government has no complaints about our projects in the Kurdistan territory,» Alexander Novak stated, according to a tweet from his ministry on Wednesday.

Responding to Novak’s comment, Iraq’s Oil Ministry issued a statement on Thursday asserting that the topic was not discussed by Novak and Abadi.

«While the Ministry of Oil welcomes all international oil companies to work and invest in Iraq, it asserts that oil is a sovereign resource and therefore all contracts… must be signed with the federal government and the Ministry of Oil,» the ministry stated. «Otherwise, they bear all legal and financial consequences.»

Control over oil resources – a vital revenue source for both Baghdad and Erbil – is a long-disputed issue between the 2 governments.

Rosneft signed large contracts with the KRG before and after Kurdistan’s independence referendum, asserting that the political circumstances do not affect its business dealings.

Iraq offered Russian construction companies the opportunity to assist with its energy infrastructure as well, inviting them to participate in building a new oil pipeline to export Kirkuk oil to Turkey’s Ceyhan port, Novak said.

The Oil Ministry announced last month that it planned to build a new pipeline rather than rehabilitate the old, damaged one.


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