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Russia, Oman size each other up as potential Mideast allies

Despite a challenging history, Russia finds common ground with Oman, which sometimes seems the "odd man out" in the Gulf.
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Oman is rarely mentioned when people talk about Russia’s policies in the Middle East. Yet in recent weeks, some interesting developments have been spotted on this track.

In early October, just in time for the second Russian-Omani Business Forum — which was held in Oman's capital, Muscat — Oman eased visa requirements for Russian citizens. Both developments testify to the countries' progress in fostering bilateral ties; this development has been gaining momentum since a Russian Federation Council delegation visited the sultanate in April 2016. Should the trend continue, Oman might take its relationship with Russia to the "next level," thus becoming, arguably, the last Gulf state to recently bolster its ties with Moscow. So far, Russia's political, economic, military and technical cooperation isn't as close with Oman as it is with other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

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