Rosneft Tightens Ties in Iraqi Kurdistan With Pipeline Talks

Iraqi President cancels US trip to address Kurdistan referendum concerns

The referendum is a "matter of national security for our country", Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last week.

Russian energy giant Rosneft have agreed to invest in a new $1 billion pipeline in Iraqi-Kurdistan, just days before the Kurdish provinces head for referendum vote on independence.

In related developments on Monday, Turkey's military said it kicked off a previously unannounced drill near its border with Iraq - a clear show of force ahead of the Iraqi Kurdish vote.

Rosneft (OTCPK:RNFTF) says it is in advanced negotiations with Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government on financing a project to build a gas pipeline system "in an accelerated mode".

"The Supreme Court has issued the order to suspend organising the referendum set for September 25. until it examines the complaints it has received over this plebiscite being unconstitutional", it said in a statement.

Consistent with the position of its top financial contributor the United States, the United Nations expressed dismay towards the independence referendum. It is claimed by both the Kurds and the central government in Baghdad.

Iraq's Kurds have long held a dream of statehood.

Nevertheless, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has expressed disapproval of the Kurdish independence vote, arguing that the KRG should cancel it because it was "distracting" from the global effort against ISIS.

The KRG, which governs the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, has said a pro-independence vote would not trigger an immediate secession.

Hours after the decision, the White House publicly called for the first time on the KRG to cancel the referendum, warning that the vote was "distracting from efforts to defeat ISIS (Islamic State) and stabilize the liberated areas".

Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdish region, has threatened violence if Iraqi troops or Shiite militias attempt to move into disputed territories that are now under the control of Kurdish fighters known as peshmerga, specifically the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Iraqi Kurdistan has always been calling for independence.



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