Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and

Ukraine’s expansion of ties with Qatar can cost it conflict with neighboring Russia

On Monday Ukraine and Qatar signed a series of bilateral agreements, marking the cementing of their ties. The multiple deals, which were produced based on the mutual interests of both the nations, got formalised following the official visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena Zelenska to Doha yesterday.

Besides his spouse, Zelensky was accompanied by a delegation of top leaders and heads of state institutions including ministers for internal affairs, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and defence. With regard to his official visit, Zelensky said, “Ukraine considers Qatar as one of the key partners in the Gulf region and the Arab world as a whole. We are now working to increase the volume of economic cooperation and expand cooperation between our countries in all areas of mutual interest.”

Among various agreements, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure and Qatari Ministry of Transport and Communications, mutually acknowledging diplomas and certificates for seafarers. Confirming the MoU, Ukrainian Infrastructure Vladyslav Kryklii said, “The Memorandum will create an appropriate legal mechanism for the mutual recognition of diplomas and certificates of seafarers between our countries.” Kryklii added that it would also lead to greater employment opportunities for Ukrainian sailors sailing vessels with the Qatari flag on.

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The two also signed agreements catering to maritime transport and education sector. Lauding the expansion of bilateral relations between the two nations, Zelensky said, “Today we plan to sign a package of bilateral documents on deepening cooperation in the legal and security spheres, in the field of food security, energy, youth and sports, healthcare. We also plan to sign documents on mutual recognition of seafarers’ certificates and driver’s licenses.”

The only downturn to increasing association between Ukraine and Qatar was deterioration of ties between Kyiv and Moscow. The relations between Ukraine and its neighbouring mighty adversary has gone from bad to worse over the recent weeks. The two have been at odds with each other since Moscow’s annexed Crimean peninsula in 2014. 2021 marks the seventh year of their strained ties.

Recently there surfaced images showing Russia massing its troops in large number around the country’s border with Ukraine, which observers claimed an aggressive move. Though Kremlin denied preparing for any military attack, it did not deny the repositioning of its army in the region along with heavy artillery including rockets, tanks and other armaments. Besides, Russia also imposed sanction on about 84 Ukrainian companies, including shipbuilder Craneship, towing company Donmar, cargo operator Transship and metal producer.  Maxima Metal.  However, Moscow did not specify the reason for targeting these companies.