Doha and Moscow are working on joint projects worth more than $1.9 billion.
Qatar and Russia are collaborating to facilitate trade transactions using their own national currencies, according to Moscow’s envoy to Doha.
The move was raised during a meeting between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in June, Dmitry Dogadkin, the Russian Ambassador to Qatar, during an interview with RIA Novosti.
“Russia proposes to diversify mutual trade and switch to the use of national currencies. Work in this direction is being carried out between our relevant departments,” the diplomat said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
Qatari authorities have yet to publicly comment on such a move.
Qatar imports from Russia stood at $150.56 million last year, according to recent statistics. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said there is untapped trade potential in the relationship with Qatar that has “yet to be uncovered”
During a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed in Moscow in June, Putin expressed that the current “figures of bilateral trade are relatively small.”
Anticipating input from the intergovernmental commission established between Moscow and Doha, Putin said he hopes the commission will put forward suggestions on how to tap into “the growth potential.”
Among all Russian enterprises, the Russian Direct Investment Fund stands out for its notably successful collaboration with Qatar, Putin noted.
Billions-worth of projects
Meanwhile, during a meeting between Sheikh Mohammed and Mishustin, the Russian diplomat announced that the two countries intend on diversifying bilateral trade while revealing current work on joint projects worth more than $1.9 billion, Russia’s Tass agency reported.
“The Qatar Investment Authority is actively investing in leading Russian companies. Partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is developing successfully. A number of other joint projects worth more than 160 billion rubles or 7.2 billion Qatari rials are under development,” Mishustin said, referring to Doha’s sovereign wealth fund.
According to the Russian prime minister, the mutual trade between January and April amounted to more than almost QAR 70 million (more than $19 million).
“Amid a difficult global economic situation, mutual trade in January-April reached over 1.5 billion rubles or almost 70 million Qatari riyals,” said Mishustin, as quoted by reports.
“Coordination of our efforts on the global gas market ensures a balance of supply and demand at a level that suits gas producers and consumers alike,” he added.
At the time, the Russian government expressed its keenness “to switch to the use of national currencies, stimulate the launch of new joint projects more actively,” Tass reported.
The officials also tapped into the global gas market, with Mishustin stressing the need to cooperate in the industry to ensure “a balance of supply and demand at a level that suits both producers and consumers of blue fuel.”
Mishustin also expressed Moscow’s readiness to develop “new air routes” with the Gulf state.
“Direct flights between our countries are now available on the Moscow-Doha route. We want to broaden the geography of our flights. I am confident that this will help improve, among other things, tourist exchanges and strengthen personal ties,” he said.