Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar arrived to Moscow on 18 of January, where he met with Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov, and Ramzan Kadyrov. It is known to be his first visit to Russia. What for did the Emir travel such a long way to cold Russia?
Aleksandr Vavilov, Professor at Moscow State University, expert on the Middle East:
'He arrived in order to establish relations with Russia, as they were quite diverse: there were streaks of good and bad luck, as well as scandals. And now they see that Russia enters the Middle Eastern scene as an active player. They can't do business without Russia, it was recognized by the Americans too. When Kerry arrived, he said openly: how is it possible without you? Thus, Qatar, a country which strives to play quite a determinant role especially in such an extremely sensible and important geostrategic region as the Persian Gulf, surely can't settle corresponding questions without Russia, to begin with. Secondly, we have common gas interests. Qatar and Russia take an active part in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and these issues should be discussed. Then there are matters of economic cooperation. Economic cooperation for such a small country as Qatar and such a big country as Russia naturally plays a very significant role. Thus, he arrived to discuss these issues for the first time since he had succeeded to the throne in 2013. Beside that, the Middle East is in a 'blaze' now, a new and very dangerous one. And it's certainly of he utmost importance to consult and coordinate with Russia.'