NetworkJune 28 2022, 15:38 pm

Qatar Poised to Gain Significant Influence in Wake of Russian Ukraine Invasion

US media report­ed in late April that glob­al demand for nat­ur­al gas in the wake of Rus­si­a’s inva­sion of Ukraine has posi­tioned Qatar for a sig­nif­i­cant boost in its influ­ence capac­i­ty. Accord­ing to a Bloomberg report:

April 29, 2021 As planes begin their descent into Doha, pas­sen­gers can look down at the brand new 80,000-seat sta­di­um ris­ing from the desert that will host the final of the World Cup in Decem­ber. They may also notice anoth­er strik­ing image: tankers lined up in the Per­sian Gulf to col­lect super-chilled nat­ur­al gas. Foot­ball and an increas­ing­ly indis­pens­able fuel may have lit­tle in com­mon, yet they are com­ing togeth­er to give Qatar out­sized influ­ence on the glob­al stage. As the World Cup show­cas­es its abil­i­ty to acquire inter­na­tion­al pres­tige, Qatar’s sta­tus as a much-cov­et­ed gas sup­pli­er is promis­ing to turn the tiny penin­su­la into the big­ger play­er it always aspired to be. Soar­ing oil prices because of the war in Ukraine have boost­ed Mid­dle East oil pro­duc­ers like Sau­di Ara­bia and Kuwait, but the finan­cial and geopo­lit­i­cal rewards on offer for Qatar make it the stand­out win­ner after Vladimir Putin’s inva­sion forced Europe to start wean­ing itself off Russ­ian ener­gy imports. Sev­er­al of the Euro­pean Union’s most senior offi­cials have flown to Doha in recent weeks, all with a clear mes­sage: we need your gas as fast as pos­si­ble. Ger­many has told busi­ness­es to start nego­ti­at­ing sup­ply deals. The urgency became more acute this week after Rus­sia cut off sup­plies to Poland and Bul­gar­ia. Qatar’s ener­gy exports were already due to reach $100 bil­lion this year for the first time since 2014 based on trends from the first quar­ter, accord­ing to Bloomberg cal­cu­la­tions. That will allow it to spend even greater rich­es in glob­al stock mar­kets and on pur­su­ing its for­eign pol­i­cy goals, main­ly via its $450 bil­lion sov­er­eign wealth fund. Mean­while, the Qatari gov­ern­ment expects a $20 bil­lion eco­nom­ic boost from stag­ing the World Cup. The 2022 fig­ure assumes aver­age from first quar­ter for whole year; hydro­car­bons and prod­ucts derived from them account for over 90% of exports That’s made 2022 more than just the year Qatar will make its mark on the sport­ing cal­en­dar, enrich­ing what’s already one of the wealth­i­est coun­tries and boost­ing its clout in a way that looked unlike­ly just a year ago.

Read the rest here (pay­wall).

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed last week on US offi­cials involved in an ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into ille­gal lob­by­ing on behalf of Qatar.


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