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Iraqi oil minister plans to visit Russia soon — ambassador

January 28, 3:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The sides are expected to discuss the situation surrounding Russian oil major Rosneft’s contracts signed with the government of the Iraqi Kurdistan

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MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Iraqi oil minister Jabbar Alluaibi plans to visit Russia soon to meet with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Iraq’s Ambassador in Moscow Haidar Mansour Hadi said in an interview with TASS.

"We are expecting a high-level delegation, like minister of oil, there are talks he might be coming to meet with his counterpart minister Novak," the ambassador said.

During the visit, the sides are expected to discuss the situation surrounding Russian oil major Rosneft’s contracts signed with the government of the Iraqi Kurdistan. According to the diplomat, the sides maintain a regular dialogue on the issue.

"There are talks, discussions going on to resolve [the issue]," he said. "The Rosneft issue or other issues that we face will be resolved according to the strong relations we have with the Russian government."

In June 2017, Rosneft and the government of Iraqi Kurdistan signed a number of legally binding agreements to expand cooperation in hydrocarbons exploration and development, commerce and logistics. The parties agreed to create a joint venture to implement an infrastructural project in Iraqi Kurdistan.

On September 25, a referendum of independence was held in Iraqi Kurdistan the autonomous status of which is enshrined in Iraq’s constitution. The local Higher Electoral Commission declared that more than 90% of the referendum participants had voted for the succession. The government in Baghdad considers that the referendum was held in violation of the main law and does not recognize the vote outcome.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin earlier said that Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan should settle internal disputes by themselves, while Rosneft will operate strictly under the law.

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