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Russia, Qatar move forward on military cooperation

The Kremlin tightens its military relationship with Qatar, with Doha finalizing the purchase of S-400 air missile defense systems from Russia.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) approaches to shake hands with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani during a meeting in Moscow, Russia, January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov/Pool - GF20000098937

Moscow and Riyadh have entered the final stages of negotiations on the sale of Russian S-400 air missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia. On Feb. 21, Saudi Ambassador to Moscow Raed Bin Khaled Qrimli said the two parties are having “detailed discussions … on the final arrangements and technical issues, especially with regards to the transfer of technology and information.”

But Riyadh isn't the only one looking to acquire these systems form Moscow. A month ago, on Jan. 25, Qatar’s Ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah told the Russian state news agency TASS that Doha was holding “advanced negotiations” with Moscow over the purchase of S-400 air missile defense systems. The announcement came just weeks after Russia’s presidential aide for military-technical cooperation, Vladimir Kozhin, singled out Qatar as an important new Russian arms export partner. Attiyah’s statement underscored the Kremlin’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with Doha.

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