Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will not join the West in imposing sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.
“Aspects of the international situation, which are connected with the events unfolded by the West around Ukraine, are well understood by our partners from the Gulf Cooperation Council states,” Lavrov said at a press conference during his visit to Saudi Arabia.
“We appreciate and reaffirmed today once again [that we are grateful for] the balanced position that they take towards this issue at international forums, and in practice, refusing to join the illegitimate, unilateral Western sanctions that were introduced against Russia,” he added.
Russia was slapped with crippling sanctions by the US and EU after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Meanwhile, Gulf countries called for a political solution. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Lavrov the Kingdom was willing to make diplomatic efforts to help resolve the conflict.
Lavrov met with foreign ministry officials from UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman in Riyadh.
The Russian diplomat said that Moscow and Gulf countries intended to further develop their partnership in contrast with the growing tensions between Russia and the US and its European allies over the war in Ukraine.
“We reaffirmed our focus on the comprehensive development of our partnership, including in the new conditions that are emerging in the world economy in the context of the policies of our Western colleagues,” state news agency TASS quoted him as saying.