Once again, friction between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal Iraqi government has reignited following the Baghdad cabinet’s mid-April decision to halt budget transfers for KRG salaries. KRG President Nechirvan Barzani calls the move “illegal” and “unconstitutional”; his Prime Minister says the Iraqi government “should not use Erbil’s budget share as a bargaining ploy.”

Baghdad and the KRG reached an agreement in November 2019 whereby in exchange for funding from Iraq’s 2020 budget, the KRG would hand 250,000 b/d of crude oil to Iraqi state crude marketer Somo. Erbil has played a dangerous game in not handing over a drop of oil since. With economic pressures mounting in Baghdad, the situation became untenable. (CONTINUED - 467 WORDS)