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Russia confirms respect for Iraq, after veiled warning on oil

Russia's foreign minister said Monday the Kremlin respects Iraq's sovereignty.

Russia confirms respect for Iraq, after veiled warning on oil

After Iraq issued veiled warnings about oil work in the Kurdish north of Iraq, Russia's foreign minister S. Lavrov said on October 23, 2017, the Kremlin respects Iraq's sovereignty.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his colleague Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that «I want to confirm once again our commitment to the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, the commitment to solving all the problems that arise through an inclusive national dialogue, involving and taking into account the interests of all ethnic, religious and political groups,» he was quoted by Tass as saying.

Lavrov's comments follow a warning last week from the Iraqi Oil Ministry, which said it was advising oil companies that they should be making contracts and dealing only with the federal government.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said he was frustrated with announcements of intent to sign oil contracts inside the «geographic borders of Iraq without telling the federal government of the ministry of oil.»

A statement carried by his ministry said such action was considered blatant interference in its internal affairs and an insult to Iraqi sovereignty.

While making no direct reference to any particular company, Luabi's comments came one day after Rosneft said it signed an agreement with the KRG.

Rosneft last month said it was finished with the due diligence requirements for an oil export pipeline from the Kurdish north and was in the process of finalizing the necessary legal documents.

The Russian company said the agreement would help it play a leading role in expansions to Kurdish energy infrastructure in general.

Iraqi military forces operating in the northern restive provinces seized control over the oil fields in Kirkuk, last week, cutting off a revenue lifeline for the KRG.

«Kirkuk has always been the heart of Iraq and a place where the pulse beats, and where crucial economic interests of this country are concentrated,» Jaafari said.

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