Russian downgrades ties with Qatar

AP News
Posted: Dec 05, 2011 2:12 PM
Russian downgrades ties with Qatar

Russia on Monday demanded an apology from the government of Qatar for an attack on three Russian diplomats and said it will downgrade its diplomatic relations.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said that its ambassador to Qatar, Vladimir Titorenko, and two other diplomats were attacked by security officers at the airport in Doha, the capital.

It said the officers tried to forcibly seize a parcel from a diplomatic pouch the ambassador was carrying, and the ambassador was hospitalized after the attack.

The ministry said the incident will have the "most negative consequences" on ties between Moscow and Doha, but did not specify the measures it will take.

In Qatar, Titorenko said he plans to leave the Gulf country after medical treatment. He said the "ball is on the Qatari side" to issue an apology or risk a diplomatic rift with Moscow.