Putin’s Scheduled Visit to Saudi Arabia and UAE Tomorrow

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will make working visits to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He added that his discussions will focus on bilateral relations, the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and international politics.

Putin has limited his international travel since deploying troops to Ukraine, which led to a full-scale war with the West that is still ongoing. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an international arrest warrant for him in March, accusing him of the war crime of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children to Russia. But he will not be at risk of arrest in the Gulf states because neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE are parties to the ICC’s founding treaty, meaning they would not be forced to extradite him.

Last week, OPEC+ agreed to extend its existing oil production cuts, and the Saudis and Russians are critical allies within the group. The Kremlin hopes to cultivate the Gulf nations to build alliances abroad despite being isolated by the West over its conflict with Ukraine.

The Gulf states also have significant investments in Russia, especially Dubai, which has become an important trading hub for Russia’s top two oil companies, including Lukoil. EU sanctions on Moscow have pushed many traders to the city, which is less affected by Western trade restrictions.

When Putin arrives in the UAE, he is expected to be treated to a royal welcome. He will fly in on the Ilyushin-II 96, the pride of the Russian fleet, and be met with a 21-gun salute. His arrival will be followed by talks with the Saudi crown prince, state news agencies Tass and Ria Novosti report. According to reports, 15 agreements on nuclear power, oil, and the environment will be signed during the visit.

In Saudi Arabia, Putin will discuss cooperation in the energy sector and other regional issues with Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman, the king’s son and deputy supreme commander of the armed forces. Putin is also set to meet with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow on Thursday, a day after he holds talks in the UAE, Peskov said.

Peskov did not address whether oil prices would be on the agenda, but he said coordinated actions by OPEC+ to reduce global supplies were always possible. The trip to the UAE and Saudi Arabia came after OPEC+ agreed to a new supply-cut deal last week, which was met with skepticism by the oil market. The Russian leader also warned of worsening ties with the West on Monday as he accepted the credentials of several new ambassadors at a Kremlin ceremony.

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