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Qatar FM calls for respect of Ukraine’s sovereignty in Moscow meeting

Doha and Moscow are working on joint projects worth more than $1.9 billion.

Qatar renewed its calls for the respect of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and United Nations Charter on Thursday during a meeting between Doha and Moscow’s foreign ministers.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who also serves as the prime minister, met with Russia’s FM Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, the first such meeting since last year

A statement by Qatar’s foreign ministry said Sheikh Mohammed “stressed the importance of respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.”

“Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated the State of Qatar’s position in support of all international efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis through dialogue and diplomatic means, and avoid further escalation,” the statement read.

Other developments discussed during the meeting included the Iranian nuclear file, developments in Palestine, Yemen and Syria. 

Russia’s news agency, Tass, reported earlier that Sheikh Mohammed is also expected to meet with President Vladimir Putin on the same day.

Putin said his country seeks “fruitful cooperation” with Qatar, according to Al Jazeera.

Sheikh Mohammed is also set to deliver a written message from Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to President Putin, the Gulf state’s foreign ministry spokesperson Dr. Majed Al Ansari said on Wednesday.

The two leaders met last October for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak.

Billions-worth of projects

After his arrival in Moscow on Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The Russian diplomat announced that the two countries intend on diversifying bilateral trade while revealing current work on joint projects worth more than $1.9 billion, Russia’s Tass agency reported.

“The Qatar Investment Authority is actively investing in leading Russian companies. Partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is developing successfully. A number of other joint projects worth more than 160 billion rubles or 7.2 billion Qatari rials are under development,” Mishustin said, referring to Doha’s sovereign wealth fund.

According to the Russian prime minister, the mutual trade between January and April amounted to more than almost QAR 70 million (more than $19 million). 

The Russian government also intends “to switch to the use of national currencies, stimulate the launch of new joint projects more actively,” Tass reported.

The officials also tapped into the global gas market, with Mishustin stressing the need to cooperate in the industry to ensure “a balance of supply and demand at a level that suits both producers and consumers of blue fuel.”

Mishustin also expressed Moscow’s readiness to develop “new air routes” with the Gulf state.

“Direct flights between our countries are now available on the Moscow-Doha route. We want to broaden the geography of our flights. I am confident that this will help improve, among other things, tourist exchanges and strengthen personal ties,” he said.