The slogan "Goodbye, Iraq" sounds prematurely

The consequences of the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum can be heavy, says RISS expert Igor BOROVKOV. This is due to problems in the economic situation of the autonomous region, which can easily be exacerbated by neighbouring countries in case of economic pressure on it.

"The economy of the Kurdish Autonomous region remains in poor condition. The falling oil prices – the main export item of the Iraqi Kurdistan – had led to a huge budget deficit. For example, civil servants (there are more than 700 000 people on a total of 5 million people), receive half the salary", said the expert.

The difficult situation may be exacerbated by Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has already spoken about the possible closure of borders and Kirkuk-Ceyhan Pipeline. "In this case, the collapse of the Iraqi Kurdistan will happen literally within several weeks," added he.

Igor Borovkov also said that we should not ignore the force factor: "Now Turkey and Iran also show their military activity in addition to Iraqi governmental troops. Iran conducts military exercises on the border with Iraq. Turkey is conducting a large-scale military maneuvers to the North-West of the Kurdish Autonomous region." In his opinion, these sates wouldn’t resort to the use of force in this situation.

"In any case, the Iraqi Kurdistan government has to negotiate with the Central government in Baghdad on the issues that prompted the Iraqi Kurdistan to conduct the referendum. This is distribution of budget allocations and oil revenues, the passage through the administrative borders, payment of salaries in the disputed areas, etc. These questions will require lengthy discussions. The parties will have the opportunity to negotiate", said the researcher, adding that the slogan "Goodbye, Iraq", which the Kurdish nationalists chanted on the festivals after the referendum, is still premature.

Kurdistan referendum