Putin and the Emir of Qatar to discuss energy and the situation in the middle East

Putin and the Emir of Qatar to discuss energy and the situation in the middle East


Key themes of the visit of the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Russia will be energy and the situation in the middle East. He will hold talks with Vladimir Putin, and will meet with Valentina Matviyenko and Sergei Naryshkin.

MOSCOW, 18 Dec –. The Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in the Kremlin to hold talks with the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, the press service of the Kremlin.

It is noted that the leader of Qatar will be in Moscow on an official visit from 17 to 19 January at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation.

“During the upcoming meeting, priority will be given to the complex build-up of Russian-Qatari cooperation in trade-economic, investment, energy and humanitarian spheres. It is envisaged a detailed exchange of views on topical issues of the international agenda, particularly the situation in the Middle East and North Africa”, — stated in the message.

Energy issues

Earlier the Ministry of energy confirmed to journalists that the leaders of Russia and Qatar discuss cooperation in energy and other industries. Co-chair of the intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic cooperation between the two States is the Minister of energy Alexander Novak. He said that countries consider “various issues of cooperation in the energy sector and in other sectors of higher value added processing, machinery, agricultural products”.

the owaku said that Russia and Qatar no of joint projects in the gas industry. “The gas industry, interaction within the framework of the Forum of gas exporting countries, and the implementation of concrete projects on the territory of Russia or Qatar — such projects no,” he said.

Earlier, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after a meeting with his counterpart in Qatar in December 2015, said that energy markets should be free from opportunistic and politicized influences.

“We, in principle, that the energy markets were freed from some opportunistic, speculative, politicized influences and that they are regulated by the balance of interests between producers, exporters and buyers”, — said Lavrov.

While Lavrov noted that no one is interested in the energy markets “was tossed from the frying pan into the fire”, as it does not add to the health of the global economy. He stressed that Russia and Qatar will continue consultations on stabilization of world energy markets.

Gas as a bargaining chip

While Qatar is a major supplier of natural gas in the world, including LNG. Earlier in December, it was reported that at the meeting of foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and foreign Minister of Qatar Khaled bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, the sides confirmed the readiness to support each other on energy, including gas, markets.

Russia and Qatar compete as suppliers of gas to the markets, in particular Europe, said Deputy General Director for gas projects of national energy security Fund Alexei Grivach. At the same time, the estimated volumes of LNG from the plant “Yamal LNG” will not be able to compete with the existing volumes of LNG from Qatar, he said.

Representatives of the Russian Federation and Qatar in the forthcoming negotiations to discuss cooperation in the development of an export strategy gas supplies in the current market conditions, said Grivach. The expert does not exclude that “Qatar has to offer some concessions in the energy sector in exchange for concessions on our part”. “I think largely it will be tied to political matters”, — the expert added.

He noted that projects in the gas sphere between Russia and Qatar is not, however, a few years ago attempts were made to attract investments of Qatar in the Russian projects. “But concrete is not reached”, — said the analyst.

Disagreements on Syria

Between Moscow and Doha, there is disagreement regarding the assessment of the situation in the middle East region. The Russian side is quite skeptical about the “Arab spring”. Moscow has repeatedly pointed out that these developments and became one of the reasons for the sharp rise of extremism, extremely Islamist movements in the region, chaos in Libya, the current crisis in Syria.

“We probably have to admit that one of the most pressing issues in efforts in resolving the Syrian crisis is the divergence, including between Russia and Qatar and a number of other countries, in regard to the legitimacy of the current Syrian leadership. And in it rests, and the process that was started in 2012 with the Geneva communiqué and which was aimed at opening negotiations for a peaceful settlement of this crisis,” said Lavrov at press conference following talks with Minister of foreign Affairs of Qatar Khaled bin Mohammed al-Atiya.

Lavrov noted that the Geneva communiqué spelled out the need for reform on the basis of mutual consent of the whole spectrum of Syrian society. Then, the Minister reminded, the West refused to endorse the communiqué of the UN Security Council on the proposal of the Russian Federation, “because there was not a word about the necessity of regime change”. As a result, the political process has not begun, Lavrov added.

From September 30 to Russia at the request of President Bashar al-Assad began in Syria strike point air strikes against the “Islamic state” (Arabic name — DAYS) and “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” (both groups were banned in Russia). During this time, aerospace forces, with the participation of ships of the Caspian flotilla and black sea fleet submarine “Rostov-on-don” destroyed several hundred fighters and thousands of targets for terrorists.

Contacts with the Eastern monarchs

Lately Putin’s contacts with middle Eastern monarchs and leaders of the region began to take place quite often.

Last week he spoke by phone with Jordan’s king Abdullah II. It was already the third contact leaders for the past six months, prior to that, the king met with the Russian President in November and in August 2015.

In November in Tehran on the sidelines of a gas summit, Putin talked with the Supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the leader of Iran Hassan Rouhani. Also in Antalya within the framework of the summit of “Big twenty” was held a bilateral meeting with king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud. In the same month, Putin discusses middle East issues with the Emir of Kuwait Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

The number of contacts with the leaders of the Middle East and Putin was held in October. Perhaps the most remarkable of them was the visit to Moscow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 20 October.

In St. Petersburg in the summer on the sidelines of the International economic forum was held the meeting of Putin and successor the crown Prince, Minister of defense of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, who in October came to the talks in Sochi. And 11 October in Sochi, the Russian President also took the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme commander of the armed forces of the UAE Mohammed al Nahyan.

Last year, the Russian President also spoke with Prime Minister of Iraq, Haidar Abadi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

In addition, Putin is actively supporting the dialogue with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. They have repeatedly communicated by phone and met on the sidelines of the climate conference in Paris on 30 November and earlier in September during the official visit of Netanyahu to Moscow.