Envoy Highlights Strong Relationship between Russia and Kuwait.

New ambassador briefs press after presenting his credentials

Vladimir Zheltov

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation Vladimir Zheltov affirmed the strength of the bilateral relations between his country and Kuwait, reports Al- Qabas daily. In his first interview with the local press after presenting his credentials, he praised the Kuwaiti policy, which he described as “wise, balanced and pragmatic.” The ambassador said, “We noticed that the current Kuwaiti leadership has continuity and persistence in approaching conflicts between all major countries in the world without any exception. Kuwait is one of the first Arab countries to recognize Russia. Even during the days of the Cold War, the days of friction and competition between the two poles, the Kuwaiti leadership did not put eggs in one basket. This is a balanced, pragmatic and wise policy.”

He expressed his country’s respect for this approach and for Kuwaiti politics. Ambassador Zheltov affirmed his keenness to strengthen the political, economic, humanitarian, military and technical files, highlighting that the Russian- Kuwaiti political dialogue is still ongoing, and there is a mechanism for political consultation. He stressed that Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is concerned with dialogue with all parties in the world. The ambassador revealed that the third session of the Russian-Gulf dialogue will be held in July in Moscow, with Kuwait’s participation in it. He affirmed that his country was and will remain on the side of Arab friends, and has principled positions on the basic issues of the Arab world, especially the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ambassador Zheltov said, “Russia is an important country for Kuwait, so nothing could affect our relationship from any external side. In the former Soviet-Kuwaiti and the Russian-Kuwaiti relations, the Kuwaiti side attached great importance due to the balanced and pragmatic policy. This is the main message that I extracted from my meeting with the Crown Prince which took a third of an hour and during which the focus was solely on the bilateral relations.”

Regarding Kuwait’s position with Russia in the Ukrainian crisis, he reiterated that Kuwaiti policy is balanced, pragmatic and wise, adding, “Irrespective of the external pressures, Kuwait still practices a neutral policy regarding what is going on in Ukraine.” Regarding the mutual agreement for visa exemption, Ambassador Zheltov said, “We are in the process of attracting tourists to Russia. We are working on a policy for canceling visas with countries that bring tourists. There are countries in the Arabian Gulf, such as the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for which we are interested in canceling entry visas not only for holders of diplomatic and special passports, but for all citizens, in return for treating our citizens reciprocally. We submitted a draft decision for canceling visas for these countries. This issue is now with the Kuwaiti side. Thousands of visas have been issued to Kuwaitis and residents from Kuwait, There is a daily flight operated by Jazeera Airways between Moscow and Kuwait.”

Ambassador Zheltov sent a message of reassurance to the Kuwaiti investors, saying, “There are no external restrictions imposed on trade or investments. Russia is a country that respects the rules of international law regarding ownership, as investments are safeguarded. However, the devil is always in the details. All Kuwaiti and Gulf investments are respected by the Russian state, despite the sanctions imposed by Western countries on us, and on Arab and non-Arab investors. Investment needs security and stability, and foreign sanctions against Russia have affected the level of trade between Russia and Kuwait.” Ambassador Zheltov welcomed the cooperation with the Kuwaiti press, stressing that it enjoys a great degree of freedom due to the sensitivity of the Arab media in this region. He indicated that government agencies pay more attention to social media, given the base of access to it and the base of people interested in obtaining accurate information. Regarding the military cooperation between his country and Kuwait, Ambassador Zheltov revealed that there are some Russian-made weapons in Kuwait, such as missile launchers and armored vehicles, and there is talk about a tank deal. He added, “We are open to all Kuwaiti requests.”

Source- Arab Times.

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