LONDON, May 01 /ITAR-TASS/. U.S. Administration has rebuked Bahrain, a Gulf state with which it has a close strategic relationship, for signing an investment cooperation deal with Russia, which Washington and its European allies are trying to subject to punitive economic measures at the moment.
“With Russia continuing its efforts to destabilize Ukraine, this isn’t the time for any country to conduct business as usual (with Moscow),” an official at the U.S. Department of State told Reuters Wednesday.
He said Washington had raised concern over the signing with the Bahraini government.
Russian Direct Investment Fund issued a statement Tuesday saying it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain on expanding both countries’ investment opportunities.
The statement said, among other things, that the Bahraini fund’s CEO, Mahmood al-Kooheji would join the RDIF international advisory board and would help formulate its strategic guidelines.
The deal was signed at the end of Wednesday’s visit to Moscow by Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad al-Khalifa who was received by President Vladimir Putin.
International analysts point out the symbolism of the deal. According to Reuters, it suggests that Western sanctions “may not deter other countries from continuing to expand business ties with Russia.