A Russian Energy Firm Boosts the Political Power of Iraq's Kurds

Sep 19, 2017 | 15:32 GMT

Aware of the advantages the governments in Baghdad and Ankara have over its oil export pipelines, the Kurdistan Regional Government is looking for ways to even the playing field with its neighbors.

The natural gas export pipeline that Rosneft and the Kurdistan Regional Government are negotiating could immediately change the way regional powers operate and behave.

(PeterHermesFurian/iStock and DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)


  • Russian state energy firm Rosneft's relationship with Iraqi Kurdistan will expand dramatically with the construction of a natural gas pipeline to Turkey.
  • Iraqi Kurdistan has relied on Turkey in the past to export its oil, but the new natural gas pipeline will increase Turkey's dependence on the autonomous region.
  • Turkey will welcome an alternative to Iranian and Russian natural gas, though buying from the Kurds will limit its influence over them.

The budding relationship between Russian energy firm Rosneft and Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is closer than ever. The company announced Sept. 18 that it was in the final stages of negotiating a deal with the KRG to finance and build a $1 billion natural gas export pipeline to Turkey. Once complete, the pipeline will transform the way the autonomous region in northern Iraq exports its energy. And its effect on regional politics will be no less dramatic....

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