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Kremlin mum on Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum

September 20, 14:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On September 15, the regional parliament held its first session since 2015, approving the plan to hold a referendum on independence on the previously fixed date, September 25

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MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peksov has declined to answer a question concerning Moscow’s position on the upcoming referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan. However, he reiterated that Russia always emphasized the need to preserve the territorial integrity of countries.

"I would prefer not to comment on this issue," Peskov told reporters.

"Definitely, Russia’s position in favor of preserving the territorial integrity of regional countries has not changed," he said. "We believe that preserving the territorial and political integrity of regional countries is necessary for continuing efforts to stabilize the situation," the Kremlin spokesman pointed out.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq, also called Iraqi Kurdistan, is an autonomous region, with its status enshrined in the country’s constitution. On September 15, the regional parliament held its first session since 2015, approving the plan to hold a referendum on independence on the previously fixed date, September 25. Baghdad opposes the plan saying that the Kurdish authorities have made an illegal decision. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has not ruled out that the army will have to interfere in case the referendum triggers violence. However, the prime minister stressed that he would not abandon talks with Iraqi Kurdistan’s authorities.

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