Russia wants 'deeper ties' with oil-producing Gulf states

Russia wants 'deeper ties' with oil-producing Gulf states
Sergei Lavrov hosted foreign ministers and delegates from the GCC on Monday for the sixth joint ministerial meeting of strategic dialogue.
2 min read
11 July, 2023
Russia is seeking to shore up and expand its relations with the GCC [Getty]

Russia is keen to deepen cooperation with the Gulf states on key regional issues, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

Lavrov was speaking at the sixth joint ministerial meeting of strategic dialogue meeting between foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Russia in Moscow.

"We welcome the efforts of the Gulf states to end the crisis in Yemen and launch a comprehensive national dialogue," Lavrov said.

Lavrov spoke of Russia and the Gulf states' "unified position" towards "Syria's unity and sovereignty over its lands", referring to the Saudi and UAE-led effort to normalise the Russian-supported regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

Lavrov added that "return to the Arab League has positively affected the region".

The Russian foreign minister also praised efforts "to restore relations" between the Gulf states and Iran, while expressing concern at "the continuation of violence in Sudan".

Lavrov's comments on Sudan come after it was revealed that the then Kremlin-funded Wagner Group provided support to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that is prolonging the conflict in the African country.

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Elsewhere, Lavrov expressed Russia's support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Secretary-General of the GCC Jassim Al-Budaiwi told Lavrov that the Gulf states were "keen to enhance all forms of cooperation with Russia", calling relations between the bloc and Russia "distinguished" and "desire to move toward cementing their links and building strong ties".

Al-Budaiwi also stated that the bloc supports "mediation efforts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis politically", while reiterating the GCC’s support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative and expressed his hopes that Russia would renew the deal with Turkey to allow Ukrainian grain to be exported around the world.