22:07 GMT08 March 2021
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    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (238)

    The deputy head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism Rostourism said Friday said that by easing visa rules for Russian nationals Qatar is rather a foreign policy-oriented message, than the signal aimed at large number of tourists.

    ZAVIDOVO (Tver Region)(Sputnik) — The tourist flow from Russia to Qatar is insignificant, and, therefore, simplifying visa issuing procedures is rather a political move by Doha, the deputy head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism Rostourism said Friday.

    "Turism has always been and will be a soft power for solving particular issues. Qatar is not having good relations with its neighbor countries now, that is why, Qatar will pay special attention to the facilitation for the outside world from the standpoint of big politics. Probably, this [visa facilitation] also has some sort of foreign policy-oriented message, rather than the signal aimed at large number of tourists," Nikolay Korolev told reporters.

    Korolev added that the Arab countries market was promising not from the standpoint of the tourist flow volumes, but rather from the standpoint of "the quality of high-margin clients" with high level of spending.

    Earlier in the day, the Russian embassy in Doha was notified by Qatar's Interior Ministry notified that procedure for issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens was simplified. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed the visa facilitation for Russian citizens, visiting Qatar.

    Previously, the procedure for issuing tourist visas for Russian citizens lasted for approximately one month. In order to obtain a visa, Russian citizens had to first receive a special permission from the Qatari Interior Ministry. Now, Russian citizens would be able to receive a tourist visa valid for one month when entering the country if certain conditions are met: having hotel booking confirmation, having return onward tickets and the amount of funds in the account equivalent to $1,500.

    On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Doha, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Later, the Maldives, Mauritius, and Mauritania also announced the severance of diplomatic relations. Jordan and Djibouti reduced the level of their diplomatic missions in Qatar. Senegal, Niger and Chad announced the withdrawal of ambassadors.

    Russian officials claimed that they supported friendly relations with all the Persian Gulf states and called for overcoming the diplomatic crisis by diplomatic means. On June 11, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed Russia's readiness to continue dialogue with Doha in all spheres.

    Persian Gulf Disarray: a Number of States Sever Relations With Qatar (238)


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    visa regime, Rostourism, Russia, Qatar
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