Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he supported a referendum on Kurdish independence during the interview to the Kurdish TV-channel Rudaw, in Moscow, Monday. 

“We start from the fact that the legitimate aspirations of the Kurds, like other peoples, need to be fulfilled within the framework of existing international legal norms,” stated Lavrov before adding, “This also applies to the decision to hold a referendum, which was finally taken in Erbil.” 

In regards to Syria, the diplomat said that Russia believes the best solution to the political crisis lies with the Syrian people themselves. “There are criteria that cannot be avoided and circumvented in these negotiations, and this is enshrined in the same resolutions of the Security Council – this country should be democratic and secular,” stated Lavrov, before going on to say, “This is very important, because a number of oppositionists, who make democrats out of themselves, flatly refuse to recognise the need to ensure the secular nature of the future state.”

In March, Lavrov stated that Russia would continue dialogue with Turkey to find ways to involve the Kurds in talks over a Syrian peace settlement. However, he admitted that he foresaw difficulties in this, knowing Ankara’s position on the matter.

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