Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that Russia does not want to vie with anyone in settling the standoff between Qatar and an Arab quartet.
The top Russian diplomat held talks separately with Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to discuss the bilateral ties, Gulf situation and global issues of mutual concern.
Lavrov told reporters that Russia supports the Kuwaiti initiative in mediating the Gulf standoff, which started in early June when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.
"We strongly believe that Kuwait's initiative deserves the support of all those who can generate a positive impact on this situation," Lavrov was quoted by Russia's TASS news agency as saying.
Russia is ready to provide its support in any mode that will be acceptable to all participants in this situation, Lavrov told reporters.
He added that Russia does not want to vie with anyone as it has "good relations with all the countries which found themselves in such a difficult situation."
Lavrov also urged Qatar and the Saudi-led Arab quartet to abandon "confrontational rhetoric."
Lavrov, the first top Russian official to visit the Gulf since the standoff, will also visit Qatar and the UAE to continue his mediation.
Tensions renewed last week when Qatar announced Wednesday to send back its ambassador to Iran, a rival for most Gulf nations. Qatar recalled its envoy in Tehran in early 2016 in a show of solidarity with Saudi Arabia after the attacks on two Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar bin Mohammad Gargash on Saturday strongly criticized Qatar's "arrogance and adolescent behavior" for the deepening of the crisis.
On June 5, the Saudi-led quartet severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the rich tiny Gulf nation, citing Doha's support for terrorism and extremism, interference in their internal affairs and seeking closer ties with Iran.
Qatar has strongly denied these charges, while flatly rejecting a list of 13 demands put forward by the quartet in late June for normalizing their ties with Doha.
Despite a flurry of diplomatic mediation efforts made by the United States, Europe Union, and Kuwait in the past months, the Gulf standoff has shown no signs of easing.