Qatari emir meets Putin in Kazakhstan

Meeting between two leaders took place on sidelines of summit in Astana, Kazahastan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, sit, during their meeting on sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit, in Astana, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. (Vyacheslav Prokofyev, Sputnik Kremlin/Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during their meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan [Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Sputnik Kremlin/Pool Photo via AP Photo]

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said politics and trade were the focus of the discussions at Thursday’s meeting.

“I would single out cooperation in the energy market, cooperation between Russia and Qatar within the framework of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum,” he told reporters.

The meeting was an attempt to diffuse tensions between Russia and Qatar, which have grown since the Ukraine crisis broke out earlier this year, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Major gas-exporter Qatar has sought a largely neutral stance on the conflict but several moves by the Gulf Arab state have recently irked Moscow, the source told Reuters news agency.

Sheikh Tamim called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday hours after explosions rocked several Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv. Qatar has criticised Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory and was one of eight non-NATO countries to join a NATO meeting earlier this year, the source said.

Russia had shown its displeasure by interfering in key Qatar dossiers, the source said, citing as examples its delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria and its role in facilitating talks between world powers on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Qatar “needs cordial relations with Russia and others in the region”, in order to continue to play a role as a conflict mediator, the source said.

Source: Reuters