The talks between Vladimir Putin and Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani have started in the Kremlin. Opening a face-to-face meeting, the Russian President said that Moscow is happy to continue contacts with Qatar. "It's nice to see you in Russia," the Russian leader told the emir. Vladimir Putin pointed to the recent development of relations between Russia and Qatar. According to him, Russia is keeping a watchful eye on the reforms in Qatar under the Sheikh's leadership. He pointed out Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani's authority in the Arab world. The Russian authorities regard today's meeting as a continuation of Russia's policy on consolidation of links with Arab countries. "Moreover, you are the President of the Islamic Conference," Putin told the Emir. Qatar has always aimed at the consolidation of relations with Russia which has traditionally supported the Arab countries, the Sheikh stressed adding that Russia should preserve this role. In the Emir's opinion, his visit to Moscow will help to consolidate bilateral relations. He pointed to the important changes in Russia which had influenced the international policy. After the face-to-face meeting in the Green drawing-room of the Grand Kremlin Palace, Putin and the Emir will be joined by the respected members of their delegations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart