Russia withdraws envoy to Qatar after attack

MOSCOW - Russia said on Monday it was downgrading relations with Qatar and withdrawing its ambassador after he was beaten by customs officials at Doha's airport last month, causing possible difficulty over a major energy deal between the two countries.
Moscow has "made the decision to downgrade relations with Qatar," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani by telephone, a Ministry statement said.
"Russian Ambassador (Vladimir) Titorenko will leave Qatar after finishing his course of treatment in the coming days," added the statement, referring to the medical care he was receiving following the physical assault.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment.
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