Russia held a meeting with the Gulf States this week in what is the sixth ministerial meeting of Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The meeting has added importance this year because of Russia’s war in Ukraine and also other shifting global issues that put the Gulf states in a unique position. The Gulf has also hosted important Chinese delegations and this week the N7 Initiative is holding a meeting in Bahrain. That means the Gulf is increasingly a center of world affairs.
According to Arab News, the “GCC countries are keen to enhance all forms of cooperation with Russia, secretary-general of the GCC, Jassim al-Budaiwi, said.” The countries discussed increasing cooperation on economic issues and also regarding energy issues. This includes both oil and also clean energy.
“The Gulf countries and Russia also praised the successful efforts of the OPEC+ countries in this regard, and said there needed to be continued cooperation of all participating countries to adhere to the OPEC+ agreement in a way that served the interests of the global economy,” Arab News said.
Gulf State ties with Russia amid the ongoing war in Ukraine
The Gulf States don’t want to take a major stand on the Russia-Ukraine war. They prefer non-interference in “internal affairs.” However, it’s not clear how Russia’s invasion is an “internal” issue.
“We have a unified position with the Gulf states towards Syria's unity and sovereignty over its lands, and Syria's return to the Arab League has positively affected the region,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. Lavrov also discussed solving the Yemen conflict. Recently a new diplomatic era in the region has opened doors to peace deals. This has been the case with the Iran-Saudi deal and other initiatives.
TASS News in Moscow also highlighted the meeting. “Cooperation between Russia and member countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), does not seek to hurt anyone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.” Gulf media all highlighted the meeting as well, showing how important it is to all the countries involved.