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In what can only be seen as smart geopolitics, Russian state oil giant Rosneft just paid the recently vanquished Iraqi Kurds $1.3 billion for E&P (Exploration and Production) rights in their region. Remember that both Syrian and Iraqi Kurds enjoy nearly complete autonomy to govern themselves within those countries.
Baghdad isn’t happy, but this is the price to pay to keep the peace.
It is the U.S. that is pushing for independence and fanning the flames of the knee-jerk American left to that cause. The Necons want the ability to negotiate around the Syrian and Iraqi governments who won’t let us build bases on their soil to threaten Iran and Russia.
Rosneft coming in and cutting a lucrative deal is meant to soften the blow of Moumad Barzani’s failed independence push which saw first a referendum for independence and then a failed military attempt to expand Kurdish-controlled territory to the city of Kirkuk to gain access to the airport which could serve as a logistical hub for more U.S. air-dropped war materiel.
Don’t think for a second that Rosneft and Gazprom are both working the back channels with the PKK Kurds in eastern Syria. Unfortunately, the PKK has subjugated its population to the U.S via its strategic alliance with the U.S. in what will ultimately be another failed independence bid.
The U.S.’s position is eroding in the region, despite Defense Secretary Mattis’ escalations. All these have done is brought us even more direct confrontation because NATO ally Turkey is pressuring both Syrian Kurdish cantons militarily while the Syrian army ‘s coalition destroys what’s left of the opposition in Idlib and Homs closer to Damascus.
Rosneft has plenty of money to splash around. Building strong regional relationships based on sustainable improvements, not air-dropping money to buy schools that require perpetual money is the path to victory. Putin knows this and that’s why Igor Sechin (the CEO of Rosneft) is there acting as his assistant Foreign Minister.