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Russia hopes Qatar affair will not affect struggle against terrorism

The Kremlin expects Qatar diplomatic crisis will be resolved peacefully

MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Russia hopes that the Qatar affair will not affect the general intention, including that of the Persian Gulf countries, to fight against terrorism, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media.

"Of course, Russia as an active participant in the overall process of struggle against international terrorism hopes that this situation will in no way affect the general determination in the struggle against terrorism. That this cause is timely and urgent and has no alternative is well seen in the tragic events that occurred in London lately," Peskov said in the wake of some Middle Eastern countries’ decision to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar.

Asked about the Kremlin’s attitude to the Qatar affair Peskov replied that "Russia cannot intervene in the internal affairs of other countries, in this particular case, Persian Gulf states."

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has said more than once we never intervene ourselves and we don’t like to see others intervene in our affairs," Peskov recalled. At the same time, Peskov went on to say, Russia certainly appreciates its relations with the Persian Gulf countries in general and with the individual countries of that region in particular. Moscow maintains active relations with them, including those in rather "sensitive areas," such as military-technical, investment and trading and economic ones.

"We are genuinely interested in maintaining this good relationship and in a stable and peaceful atmosphere in the Middle East for settling the exiting disagreements," Peskov said.

He avoided answering the question if the Qatar affair might influence the oil production agreement between the OPEC countries and non-affiliated producers. He also dismissed as inappropriate the question if Russia might extend assistance to Qatar if that country found itself in a difficult situation.

Earlier, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya’s transitional government and the Republic of Maldives made a decision to close their air space to Qatar within 24 hours. Doha expressed regret over this measure and dismissed it as groundless.