Moscow on Saturday called for dialogue between Qatar and its neighbours in the Gulf, promising help in mediating the crisis, as Russia’s foreign minister met his Qatari counterpart. “We have observed with concern the news of this escalation,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in opening remarks of his meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Moscow.
“We cannot be happy in a situation when the relations between our partners are worsening. We are in favour of resolving any disagreements through… dialogue.” Qatar is reaching out for support abroad as it has fallen out with its Arab neighbours, who accuse it of sponsoring extremist groups and resent its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood movement and sponsorship of Al-Jazeera network.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have cut diplomatic ties on Monday and are trying to blockade Qatar by air and sea. Lavrov said that Russia is “ready to try to do everything in its power” to help resolve the crisis and said unity is needed to fight terrorism. “For us, unity is clearly necessary for maximum effect on this front (against terrorism),” he said.
Qatar has denounced the allegations against it and Al-Thani during his meeting with Lavrov called the measures against the country “illegal”. Some reports alleged that Russian hackers helped spark the crisis but Moscow has dismissed this as a “stale claim” with “zero evidence.”