Russia appreciates Qatar’s willingness to help resolve situation in Ukraine: Lavrov

Ahram Online , Monday 14 Mar 2022

Qatar's foreign minister met Monday with his Russian counterpart in Moscow for talks on Russia's obstruction of a new Iran nuclear deal and on the Ukraine conflict.

Sergey Lavrov and Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and Qatar s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani pose for a photo after joint news following their talks in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 14, 2022. AP

Russia and Qatar will maintain contact on the situation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with Qatari top diplomat Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani on Monday.

"I believe that we both found the conversation useful and agreed to maintain contact on the issue. I would like to reiterate that we appreciate Qatar’s willingness to contribute to efforts to achieve the desired results," Lavrov pointed out.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed that the State of Qatar will spare no effort to provide everything that would support a peaceful solution to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis through consultation and work with its partners, noting that the State of Qatar has always believed in diplomatic solutions to international crises.

"We also appreciate the fact that Qatar seeks to make the most of its opportunities to facilitate agreements on the issues on the agenda based on the interests of common European security, including Ukraine’s security and Russia’s security and the need to make sure that no threats come from Ukraine to Russia," Lavrov said.

He stressed that there should be no threats to those seeking to protect the Russian language, Russian culture, and traditions, including religious ones, "as well as to those who wish to live in the country without having to face any kind of discrimination, particularly discrimination stemming from neo-Nazi sentiment."

The Qatari diplomat briefed Lavrov on the results of his recent meetings and contacts with foreign ministers of European countries, stressing the need for urgent international efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis, with the need to ensure the safety of civilians and consider this the safety of civilians a top priority.

Sheikh Mohammed headed to Moscow just hours after speaking with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian about Russia's new demands on the Iran talks, which Moscow has linked to sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.

Ten months of negotiations in Vienna have brought Western countries agonisingly close to renewing a 2015 deal on regulating Iran's nuclear programme. The United States withdrew from the accord in 2018 and Iran has since rolled back on its commitments.

The talks have been halted again, however, after Russia demanded guarantees that Western sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine would not damage its trade with Iran.

Qatar, a neighbour of Iran with close ties to Washington, has been stepping up efforts to encourage the United States and Iran to move towards a new deal.

In a flurry of contacts, Sheikh Mohammed also discussed the Iran deal while in France and Germany this week and spoke on Sunday with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

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