A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
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Russia's biggest oil company, Rosneft, has agreed to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan's main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion despite Baghdad's military action sparked by a Kurdish vote for independence.Rosneft's investment comes amid a crisis in Kurdistan's relations with the central government in Baghdad since the region held an independence referendum last month, which angered neighbors Iran and Turkey.Rosneft also agreed to invest another $400 million in five exploration blocks.With Rosneft effectively becoming a controlling stakeholder in Kurdish oil infrastructure, the move should help shield Irbil from pressure from Baghdad and its neighbors.Kurdistan has borrowed around $4 billion from Rosneft, traders and Turkey, guaranteed by future oil sales.
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