Putin lands in Abu Dhabi

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President Vladimir Putin greets UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed at the airport in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.  Moscow is stepping up its diplomatic push among energy-rich monarchies in the Middle East.  (Photo: AFP)

President Vladimir Putin greets UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed on the airport in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Moscow is stepping up its diplomatic push amongst energy-rich monarchies in the Middle East. (Photo: AFP)

ABU DHABI – President Vladimir Putin is in the United Arab Emirates for a uncommon go to exterior the previous Soviet Union on Wednesday, as Russia seeks to reassert itself on the world stage.

Isolated from the West due to the battle in Ukraine, Putin is courting allies in the Middle East, the place he’ll talk about oil, commerce and the battle between Israel and Hamas.

UAE officers greeted Putin on the runway, Russian tv confirmed, earlier than he went to the presidential palace below a cavalry escort.

“Today, because of your posture, our relationships have reached unprecedented ranges,” Putin mentioned UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan upon his arrival, praising excessive commerce between the international locations.

Later at the moment Putin is scheduled to journey to Saudi Arabia to fulfill with the dominion’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

This is simply the Russian chief’s third journey exterior the previous Soviet Union since he invaded Ukraine, following visits to Iran and China.

Since March Putin has been on trial for battle crimes on the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing him of deporting youngsters from Ukraine.

He skipped the BRICS summit in South Africa in August to keep away from a “political present” and missed the flagship G20 summit in September.

But neither the UAE nor Saudi Arabia signed the unique ICC treaty, which means they might not must arrest him.

Feelings of revival

“Putin is actually talking extra confidently now than at any time for the reason that battle started,” mentioned Nigel Gould-Davies, senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia on the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Russia’s protection strains have largely been in opposition to counterattacks launched by Ukraine with weapons price billions of {dollars} from the West, the place support to Ukraine is below dialogue.

And Moscow has realized easy methods to adapt to Western sanctions, as oil revenues return.

Trade and oil will probably be on the agenda in the UAE, which a Kremlin assertion mentioned is “Russia’s important financial associate in the Arab world”.

Bilateral commerce between the 2 international locations will attain $9 billion in 2022, the Kremlin mentioned.

The talks may even give attention to cooperation in the power sector, after Russia – one among OPEC’s 10 companions – mentioned it could deepen voluntary provide cuts.

“Promising tasks are being developed in nearly all main sectors,” the Kremlin mentioned.

The United Arab Emirates is internet hosting the UN’s COP28 local weather talks, however the Kremlin didn’t specify whether or not Putin would attend any associated occasions.

‘Reliable assure’

After internet hosting Putin, the UAE will welcome Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday and Saturday.

Moscow is stepping up its diplomatic push amongst energy-rich and influential Middle Eastern international locations, together with Saudi Arabia.

Putin is anticipated to go to the Gulf kingdom afterward Wednesday for talks with Mohammed bin Salman on a variety of points together with commerce and oil.

The cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia is “a dependable assure of sustaining a secure and predictable scenario on the world oil market,” the Kremlin mentioned earlier than the assembly.

The leaders may even talk about worldwide politics, together with the battle between Israel and Hamas.

The Kremlin praised the “nice significance of sustaining dialogue with the Kingdom to protect peace and safety in the Middle East and North Africa.”

The two leaders will “take into account methods to advertise de-escalation” in the battle, the Kremlin mentioned.

On his return to Moscow, Putin will host Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for talks on Thursday, the Kremlin has mentioned, as the 2 international locations strengthen financial and navy ties in the face of Western sanctions.

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