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Russia’s reading on what’s at stake in Qatar crisis

Moscow has pricked up its ears as Qatar’s diplomacy problems grow more raucous.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani enter a hall during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - RTS12E5Q

The diplomatic row around Qatar that is flaring up into something more serious caught many in Russia by surprise. Although disсontent with a number of Doha’s activities has been smoldering in the region for a while, it didn’t appear on most Russian experts’ radar screens largely because Russia didn’t expect the rivalry for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leadership to affect Moscow policies all that much.

Now that the crisis threatens to spill over to the rest of the Middle East, Moscow is adopting a more watchful stance.

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