Russian government newspaper calls for relations with Kurds

06.07.2014 – BasNews, Russia – Last month Viktor Militarev, Vice President of the National Strategy Institute writing for the pro-government newspaper Izvestiya called on Russia to strengthen relations with Kurds and Christians as natural allies against radical Islamic movements, despite Russia’s fears of a divided Iraq.  

“The successes of our diplomacy in the Middle East, when we are managing to maintain friendly relations with Syria and Iran on the one hand and with Israel on the other, testify to this. But despite the successes of our diplomacy, it would be useful for us to expand the number of our allies in the Middle East. Meaning primarily Christians and Kurds,” he wrote. Militarev also mentioned democracy: “The armed Salafi rebellion in Iraq, which is a continuation of the same rebellion in Syria, reminded me of the words of an Iraqi friend of mine. My friend – a Barzani-ite Iraqi Kurd – told me at that time: ’You know, our Arab countrymen are considerably less capable than we Kurds, it seems, of a democratic transition.’

Militarve praised the democracy in Kurdistan under the authority of president Massoud Barzani. “It is flourishing under the authority of the Barzani-ite social democrats. But it is by no means only a question of economic growth and social justice in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is not even a question of fair democratic elections. Aside from all else, religious tolerance and political tolerance are predominant in free Kurdistan.”

The Russian journalist suggested that although Kurds are Sunni Muslim like Arabs, they do not suffer from the same religious fanaticism. “Religious minorities – the Yazidi Kurds, Assyrian Christians, Jews, and Armenians – on the other hand, enjoy the fullness of political rights. The Kurds are, further, proud that the Assyrians, they say, love to sing their songs in Kurdish.”

The writer suggests that while in the past Syria had problems with the Kurds, they now support the Syrian regime in conflict with the Salafi rebellion, and suggest the main enemies of Russia are Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Qatar that back the Salafi movement.

“The Kurds are a new dynamic power centre in the Middle East. They have long wanted to have close relations with Russia. But, unfortunately, we have not for many years responded with reciprocity. A fear of ’separatism’ can clearly be traced behind this coldness of Russian diplomacy towards the Kurds.”

He pointed out that Russia should better understand the national feelings of Armenia and the Kurds. “Today, when we have experienced the joy of the reunification of Russia and Crimea, we should have a far better understanding of the feelings of the Armenians wishing for the reunification of Armenia and Karabakh-Artsakh and the feelings of the Kurds wishing to acquire, finally, their own national state.” In a speech last Thursday in the Kremlin at the Inter-National Relations Council, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president said that national histories, cultures, and traditions should not be neglected, otherwise another Libya or Iraq will happen. ’The imposing of cliches, including cultural, educational and political, the neglect of history and traditions of certain nations – all this leads to grave consequences. And the examples of Iraq, the Iraqi Kurdistan, and Libya and several other countries are the best evidence,’ Putin said, reported Russian Interfax agency.