Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, two days after a Russian militia group rebelled against Moscow.
“The call dealt with discussing bilateral relations between the two countries, in addition to discussing the latest regional and international developments and developments in the Russian Federation,” Qatar’s state news agency QNA reported on Monday.
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Sheikh Tamim “affirmed Qatar’s position of calling for resolving differences through dialogue and diplomatic means” and called for a “need to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders”, the news agency said.
Qatar is among several Arab countries that have been largely neutral over Russia’s 16-month full-scale war on neighbouring Ukraine.
For its part, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement about the call that both leaders confirmed their mutual interest in further strengthening their countries’ ties in various areas.
“The Qatari leader expressed his support for the actions of the Russian authorities related to the events of June 24,” the ministry said.
Both Parties noted the high level of #RussianQatari cooperation and confirmed their mutual interest in further strengthening it in various areas🤝
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) June 26, 2023
On Saturday, Qatar had expressed “deep concern” over the developments in Russia after the armed uprising by the Wagner mercenary group.
“The State of Qatar is following, with deep concern, the developments in the Russian Federation, which resulted from the mutiny against the [Russian] army,” the Qatari foreign ministry had said in a statement.
“The escalation in Russia and Ukraine will have negative repercussions on international peace and security, and on food and energy supplies, which are already affected by the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.”
So far, Wagner’s mercenaries have been among the most important troops in the Russian war effort.
However, after months of tensions with Russia’s military leadership, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin on Saturday openly opposed the country’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as he launched a dramatic march to Moscow.
As he faced the biggest challenge to his authority, Putin accused Prigozhin of treason.
Russian media reports on Monday said Prigozhin remains under investigation by the Federal Security Service (FSB) for leading the rebellion.