A Russian-American diplomatic race on the Gulf states

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who flew to Qatar last week to visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, said Moscow’s ambition was to benefit from the region’s recognition of it as a major power.

On the other side, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the Middle East last month as “seeking to demonstrate Washington’s commitment to its regional allies”, adding that Lavrov felt changes and Moscow needed to position itself in the eyes of powerful Gulf states.

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries have invited Russian President Vladimir Putin and perhaps hoped to receive instead of Lavrov, saying that Moscow’s move by sending Lavrov before Putin, trying to prove to the Gulf states that there has been no progress “practical” calls for the arrival of the Russian president.

In this context, Lavrov’s tour carries an important message: Russia treats these countries as one family despite their internal differences, citing Lavrov’s stop in Doha and Riyadh before starting to Kuwait and Abu Dhabi.

Lavrov’s non-stopover in Kuwait after Doha is proof of Moscow’s great interest in not following the rules that regional powers may want to impose.

On the country crisis, the site explained that the neutrality of Moscow didn’t prevent them from talks with Riyadh and Doha to buy the S-400 air defense system, speaking of the resort of the Gulf States to the “bogey” Russian to intimidate Washington and therefore to make a greater commitment to them.

There are an almost clear objectives of Lavrov’s visit is to encourage the Gulf countries to return to Syria.

With the direction that Moscow’s plan to gain European Union support for stabilizing Syria based on Russian conditions had failed, adding that the direction of Bahrain and the UAE to open their embassies in Damascus gave Russia a glimmer of hope that not having the need for Western recognition of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad if the Arab world did so.

Russia’s desire to exert more influence in the Gulf states and spend more money – more importantly – and through official channels, warned that Riyadh will ask in return Moscow to abandon Iran.

“Although it is difficult to do so, the message, which Lavrov is likely to convey to his Gulf counterparts, that the relationship between Russia and Iran is not exclusive, will reassure the Gulf states at least”.

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