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Qatar and Russia

Ties between Qatar and Russia stepped up since a blockade against Qatar was launched by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain in 2017. Qatar has invested billions of dollars into the Russian economy and finalised an $11.5bn deal to acquire nearly 20 percent of Russia's state oil company Rosneft. In October 2018, Russia and Qatar signed a number of agreements on military and technical cooperation.

A central claim of the Steele dossier was that Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, during a meeting with Rosneft officials in summer 2016, promised that a Trump administration would undo sanctions against Russia, in part, in exchange for brokerage of the Rosneft deal. "SECHIIN's associate said that the Rosneft President was so keen to lift personal and corporate western sanctions imposed on the company, that he offered PAGE associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosnett in return. PAGE had expressed interest and confirmed that were TRUMP elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted."

Anglo-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore and the Gulf emirate of Qatar bought into Russian state oil producer Rosneft, Rosnefts CEO Igor Sechin said on December 7, 2016. The two partners were expected to pay 10.5 billion euros (11.3 billion dollars) for a 19.5% stake in the Russian company. The Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore, the Swiss-based commodities giant, formed a partnership to buy the 19.5% stake in Russia's energy jewel at a time when Mr. Putin's government needed cash. Qatar saw the political benefits of giving Russia access to quick cash as a sort of loan to address a budget deficit that had widened due to lower oil prices.

Russia's sale of one-fifth of its state-owned oil company to Qatar and commodities giant Glencore PLC had an unusual provision: Moscow and Doha agreed Russia would buy a stake back. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the EUR10.2 billion ($11.5 billion) sale of the PAO Rosneft stake in December as a sign of investor confidence in his country. But it functioned as an emergency loan to help Moscow through a budget squeeze.

Qatar agreed in May 2018 to take a 19 percent stake in Rosneft, rescuing the Russian state oil giant after its hopes of selling a major stake to a Chinese company fell through. Qatar's sovereign investment fund QIA initially bought 19.5 percent of Rosneft jointly with Swiss trading giant Glencore for $12.2 billion during the Russian company's partial privatization in 2016. But in 2017 the consortium agreed to sell a 14.16 stake in Rosneft to CEFC China Energy in a $9.1 billion deal that was seen as key to helping expand relations between Russia -- the world's top energy exporter -- and China -- the top energy consumer. That deal ran into trouble after CEFC Founder Ye Jianming was put under investigation by Chinese authorities over suspected economic crimes.

Diplomatic relations between the USSR and Qatar were established on August 1, 1988. In November 1989, embassies were opened in Moscow and Doha. On December 6, 1991, Qatar officially recognized Russia and other CIS states.

On 12 February 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Qatar. Putin proposed organizing a Middle East peace conference similar to the Madrid conference that led to the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, and the Amir supported the idea. The two leaders discussed the idea of an OPEC-like structure to regulate natural gas prices.

Qatar viewed the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) as a vehicle for technical cooperation, not price-fixing. The GECF was an organization defined and controlled by its three leading members -- Russia, Iran, and Qatar. The conflicting interests of these three countries largely accounted for the organization's failure to reach consensus on the most substantively important issues, such as pricing. Qatar's use of tankers to supply LNG, as opposed to the Russian pipelines that have made Europe's LNG supply vulnerable to supply interruptions arising from political disputes, make Qatar an attractive alternative as a swing supplier.

In November 2010, Emir Hamad paid a visit to Moscow.

Economic relations developed mainly through cooperation in the energy sector, including within the framework of the GECF. In November 2011. Minister of Energy S.I. Shmatko took part in the work of the 1st GECF Summit. During the talks with the Qatari side, the possibility of Qatar's participation in the Yamal-LNG project, as well as the purchase of a stake in Novatek by Qatar, was actively discussed.

A significant event in bilateral economic relations was the February 10, 2013 visit of the Russian President's Special Representative for Cooperation with the GECF Vladimir Zubkov to Doha, during which negotiations were held with the Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar M. As-Sadoy and the grand opening of the regional office took place OAO Gazprom in Qatar and the Persian Gulf.

In March 2013, the Qatar Investment Administration (KUI) completed a financial transaction to acquire a stake in VTB for a total of $ 500 million. There was also a politically meaningful appointment (on the initiative of the Russian side) of the Director General of the IUCA, A.Sseed, as a member of the international expert Council of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. In April 2013, Doha held talks with Qatar partners Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg OA Markov and Head of Tatarstan Investment Agency AG Yakupov.

A significant step in the development of a full-fledged bilateral political dialogue can be considered the Russian-Qatar political consultations held in Moscow on October 30, 2013 at the level of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (M.L.Bogdanov and A.Al-Hajri). February 5, 2014 a working meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Emir Tamim in Sochi took place. The continuation of this positive dynamics was the reception of the Russian delegation of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation led by the special representative of the President of Russia, MV Margelov (on February 7-10, 2014) "at the highest level".

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Page last modified: 29-05-2019 18:57:38 ZULU