Qatar’s Foreign Minister heads to Moscow for talks over nuclear deal and the war in Ukraine – Doha News

The Gulf state has long called for the resumption of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani is heading to Moscow on Sunday for talks over the 2015 nuclear accord and events in Ukraine, Doha News has learnt.

The Qatari foreign minister is going to be meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow during his visit.

This comes as talks in Vienna over the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) were paused on Friday, after Russia demanded guarantees that its trade with Iran would not be impacted by newly imposed US sanctions on Moscow.

Those sanctions were imposed on the country for its invasion of Ukraine, which started on 24 February.

Russia is part of the P4+1, which also includes China, France, the UK plus Germany. The members are all part of the 2015 accord and have been negotiating its return in Vienna since April last year.

Qatar has been mediating between the US and Iran in an effort to restore the nuclear deal at the two countries’ request.

What the Russian invasion of Ukraine means for small states

Bloomberg also reported that Sheikh Mohammed is potentially meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing a person with knowledge on the matter. The news agency also reported that Qatar seeks to act as a mediator to de-escalate the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held three phone calls with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

The latest phone call was held on Wednesday, followed by a meeting on Thursday between Bektum Rostam, Special Envoy of Ukraine’s President, and Sheikh Tamim.

“During the meeting, the latest developments on Ukrainian arena and the peaceful and diplomatic ways to solve them were reviewed, and relevant regional and international issues were also discussed,” said the Amiri Diwan.

The UN recorded 579 civilian casualties, including 42 children, in Ukraine between 24 February and 11 March. The actual death toll is believed to be much higher.

Russia’s impact on JCPOA

Russia’s envoy at the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, dismissed his country’s impact on the resumption of the nuclear accord on Friday. The Russian diplomat said the fate of “the deal does not only depend on Russia only”.

“There are others actors who need additional time and who have additional concerns and they are being discussed,” he added.

Officials at the table of negotiations in Vienna have been making more positive statement over the JCPOA, saying a deal is imminent. The talks have also reached the final stages of discussions over the deal.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the pause in the talks “could be a momentum for resolving any remaining issue and a final return”.

“Successful conclusion of talks will be the main focus of all. No external factor will affect our joint will to go forward for a collective agreement,” tweeted Khatibzadeh.

“Nobody should seek to exploit JCPOA negotiations to obtain assurances that are separate to the JCPOA,” said in a joint statement.

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