Qatar inks deals to buy Russian firearms, Kornet antitank missiles
Russia and Qatar signed contracts for the delivery of small arms and Kornet antitank guided missiles, Russian Ambassador to Qatar Nurmakhmad Kholov said. "An agreement on military-technical cooperation was signed in October 2017. Work on its implementation began after that. Contracts have been signed for the supply of traditional weapons, for example, small arms, Kalashnikov assault rifles, grenade launchers and machineguns, as well as Kornet antitank missile systems," he said.
Russian-made Kornet AT-14 Spriggan ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) (Picture source: Army Recognition)
Russia and Qatar are discussing a possible purchase of S-400 air defense missiles, but no specific steps have been taken so far, the ambassador said. "As for air defense systems, the S-400 and so on, the issue is being discussed, but there are no specific conclusions yet. This is probably a matter for the future, but there are no specific steps in this direction yet," the diplomat said.
Commenting on Riyadh’s negative reaction to the potential deal, Kholov noted that this is a matter of relations between Moscow and Doha, and Russia will be guided by its own interests. "Saudi Arabia expressed this to both us and other European countries. However, this is a bilateral issue. I don’t think that, if the issue is brought up one way or another, this will be of crucial importance," he emphasized. "However, we need to take this into account, because we are on friendly terms with all regional countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are at odds with Qatar," Kholov went on to say. "Nevertheless, we will be guided by Russia’s own interests."
The intergovernmental agreement on military-technical cooperation between the two countries was signed during Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Qatar in October 2017.