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Russia interested in keeping Gulf region conflict-free, expert says

According to the expert, some countries are seeking to present Russia’s policy in the region is a wrong light

MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. Russia is interested in maintaining relations with all of the Gulf monarchies and wants to see this region conflict-free, a Russian expert said on Monday.

"Despite the serious contradictions over Syria with both Qatar and Saudi Arabia, including over issues of financing terrorism, we are trying to develop relations with all countries of that region," Anna Glazova, head of the US, Canada and Latin America Center of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies and an acclaimed Orientalist, said in a video commentary.

"We are interested to see this region free of any diplomatic or armed conflicts," she stressed.

According to Glazova, some countries are seeking to present Russia’s policy in the region is a wrong light and use questionable news pegs and invented facts for these reasons. "Some American media, including CNN, did not hesitate to say that Russia was behind the hacker attack on the Qatari emir’s website" as it "wanted to set these countries at odds," she said.

However, in her words, the current level of Russia’s relations with the Gulf countries indicates that Russia is interested in still better relations. "Suffice it to say that the Saudi King is expected to pay a visit to Moscow. Earlier, very serious deals were signed with Qatar, for instance, on the purchase of shares in [Russia’s oil major] Rosneft worth more than two billion (US dollars - TASS)," she reminded. "We have agreements that Qatar will invest more than two billion (US dollars - TASS) in Russia’s economy. So, it is in our interests and is important for us to maintain normal political and economic relations with all countries of the region."

A hacker attack on the Qatar News Agency (QNA) was reported on May 24, 2017. The agency published a text ascribed to Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in which Qatar’s leader called Iran "the region’s security underwriter" and criticized the anti-Iranian policy conducted by some members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. A few minutes after the publication, QNA’s director said that the agency’s website had been hacked and the Qatar leader’s speech was a fake. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry also officially denied it.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and interfering into their domestic affairs and said they were severing diplomatic relations with that country.