Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

When the „First Funding Conference of Coordinate Council of the Russian Compatriots of the State of Qatar” took place in Doha in October 2016, some observers were surprised to find out that it represented 7,000 Russian nationals permanently residing in Qatar. According to the Russian embassy in Doha, these include “physicians, engineers, sports coaches, pilots, musicians of the Qatari Philharmonic Orchestra and etc.”( “etc.” most likely also includes SVR/GRU operatives). This is an impressive number for a country of less than 2 million, particularly since the last such figures given by the Russian embassy in 2014 were only 2,500 people. This dramatic, almost 300%, growth has been directly related to the new rapprochement between the two countries, which started in 2016 following the visit to Moscow of Qatar’s emir Tamim


  The two crude oil pricing benchmarks around the world are the Brent price and the West Texas Intermediate or WTI price. The two benchmark oil trade in the futures market and attract tremendous hedging, investment, and speculative interest. Brent crude oil is the preferred pricing mechanism for around two-thirds of the world’s crude oil while WTI is the benchmark for the other third. WTI is sweeter crude, meaning it has a lower sulfur level and is more appropriate for gasoline production in the refining process. Brent’s characteristics made it easier and cheaper as an input for the refining of diesel fuels and other distillates. Meanwhile, Brent and WTI are benchmarks, and while oil production all over the world may use them for pricing purposes, there are many discounts and