President Sheikh Mohamed welcomes Vladimir Putin to UAE on state visit

Russian leader given official reception in Abu Dhabi before heading for Saudi Arabia where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in the UAE on Wednesday on a state visit before going to Saudi Arabia later in the evening.

He was welcomed by President Sheikh Mohamed at an official reception held at Qasr Al Watan.

The national anthems of both countries were played and a 21-gun salute fired as part of a colourful ceremony, state news agency Wam reported.

President Sheikh Mohamed meets Russia's Vladimir Putin in Abu Dhabi

President Sheikh Mohamed meets Russia's Vladimir Putin in Abu Dhabi

Al Fursan aerobatic team took to the air to paint the skies in the colours of the Russian flag. The UAE Air Force escorted the Russian President's plane as he entered the country's airspace.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, Sheikh Mohamed said the pair discussed bilateral ties and "the importance of strengthening dialogue and co-operation".

"Today in Abu Dhabi I discussed with President Vladimir Putin the ties between our two nations, and the importance of strengthening dialogue and co-operation to ensure stability and progress," Sheikh Mohamed said.

"The UAE will continue to support efforts aimed at enabling global growth, prosperity and development for all."

During the meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Putin discussed issues of mutual interest, including Gaza, Ukraine and Cop28.

They spoke about the need for international action to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as well as protecting civilians and ensuring the safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid.

They stressed the need to find lasting and comprehensive peace in the region, based on a two-state solution.

The meeting also touched on developments in Ukraine, with Sheikh Mohamed emphasising the UAE supports resolving conflicts worldwide through dialogue and diplomacy.

The meeting dealt with Cop28, which is currently being hosted in Expo City Dubai. Mr Putin expressed his hope that the conference would contribute to finding constructive solutions to climate challenges and enhancing international climate action.

Mr Putin also praised the UAE's role on the international stage, especially in the UN Security Council, and its efforts to promote global stability.

In attendance at the reception were Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; and Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed.

Among others in attendance were Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, chairman of the Office of Development and Martyrs' Families Affairs at the Presidential Court; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, adviser for special affairs at the Presidential Court; Ali Al Shamsi, secretary general of the Supreme Council for National Security; Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the President; Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc; Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology; Mohamed Al Suwaidi, Minister of Investment; and Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and Dr Mohammed Al Jaber, UAE ambassador to Russia.

The UAE is Russia’s largest Gulf trading partner, accounting for 55 per cent of total Russian-Gulf trade.

Trade between the two countries continues to grow, reaching nearly $10 billion, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, said in September.

He said that figure was likely to increase and Moscow supported the UAE joining the Brics group of nations.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia and Argentina will formally become members of Brics on January 1, after being invited to join in August at a three-day summit in Johannesburg.

Brics is an acronym for the group's founding members: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Mr Putin left Abu Dhabi and arrived in Riyadh shortly after 8pm on Wednesday, where he was met by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The kingdom and Russia are working together to achieve stability in the Middle East," said Prince Mohammed, during a live television broadcast.

On his arrival, Mr Putin said: “It is important for all of us to exchange opinions about what is happening in the region. We have well-established good relations with Saudi Arabia in politics, economics, and the humanitarian field.”

Updated: December 07, 2023, 1:17 PM