UAE prepares for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit

UAE and Russia flags decorate the streets of Abu Dhabi in anticipation of the official visit

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Preparations are under way for the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the UAE on Tuesday.

UAE and Russian flags lined Abu Dhabi's Corniche on Saturday as the country prepared to receive Mr Putin for his second official visit since 2007.

Maadhad Al Khaili, the UAE ambassador to Russia, said his visit was an indication of the steadily growing relations between the two countries.

"The visit will contribute to further consolidating the current strategic partnership between the two sides," Mr Al Khaili told state news agency Wam.

On the sidelines of the Joint UAE-Russia Committee preparatory meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation on Saturday, Mr Al Khaili said the committee played a significant role in accelerating trade relations and increasing the volume between the two nations.

“The volume of mutual trade between the two countries has grown significantly in recent years, with the Russian Federation ranked first among the UAE’s trading partners in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the UAE maintaining its position as Russia's primary trade partner in the Arabian Gulf in 2018," he said.

Trade between the UAE and Russia reached Dh12.5 billion last year and more than 3,000 Russian companies are registered in the Emirates.

More than 900,000 Russian tourists visited the UAE last year, and the number of Emiratis travelling to Russia is increasing, Wam reported.

The ambassador said the recent space mission by Hazza Al Mansouri to the International Space Station on board a Soyuz rocket was a prime example of the growing co-operation between the two countries.

The ninth Joint UAE-Russia Committee meeting was chaired by the UAE ambassador and Maxim Sidelnikov, a deputy director at the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia.