Russia’s plans to supply S-400 Triumf air defense systems to Qatar will not be affected by the opposition of Saudi Arabia, Russian senior lawmaker Aleksei Kondratyev told Sputnik.
“Russia seeks its own interest, supplying S-400 to Qatar and earning money for the state budget. Saudi Arabia’s position has nothing to do with it, Russia’s plans will not change … It is clear that Riyadh plays a dominant role in the region, but Qatar gets an advantage by enhancing its Armed Forces due to the acquisition of Russian S-400 systems. Therefore, Saudi Arabia’s tension is understandable,” Kondratyev, who serves as the deputy chairman of the upper house Committee on Defense and Security, said.
Moreover, Washington also regularly urges Riyadh to oppose the deal between Moscow and Doha, according to the lawmaker.
“The United States does not want to lose a very lucrative regional market of weapons and they will continue to pressure Saudis,” Kondratyev underlined.
Earlier in the day, the Le Monde newspaper reported that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has sent a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, in which Riyadh expressed its readiness to conduct military action against Qatar if the latter purchases Russian military equipment.
In January, Qatari Ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohammed Attiyah said that Doha was in “advanced” talks with Moscow on a purchase of the Russian air defense systems. Two months before, Riyadh and Moscow reached an agreement on the supply of S-400s.
Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar aggravated in June 2017, when the former, alongside the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Doha, blaming it for destabilizing the region by supporting Islamist groups.
Sources: Le Monde, Sputnik