According to UAE state media WAM, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (pictured) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will discuss the countries’ “friendly relations” alongside “regional and international issues and developments of common interest.”
Christophe Petit Tesson | dpa | Getty Images
The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, will go to Russia on Tuesday to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin.
According to UAE state media WAMboth leaders will discuss the countries’ “friendly relations” along with “regional and international issues and developments of common interest.”
The UAE ruler’s visit comes a week after OPEC+, an alliance of oil producers that includes Russia and the UAE, agreed to impose deep production cuts to strengthen crude oil prices despite calls from the US to pump more to bolster the global economy.
The Kremlin had on Sunday praised the organization’s decision to cut production.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the move was a “balanced, well-thought-out and planned work of the countries that occupy a responsible position within OPEC,” according to Russian media.
The cut had strained relations between the oil cartel and the United States.
The White House said in a statement that President Joe Biden was “disappointed by OPEC+’s short-term decision to cut production quotas while the global economy deals with the continuing negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Following the announcement of the UAE leader’s visit, Dubai’s former finance chief said on Twitter that Mohamed was on his way to Russia to “[defuse] a European war that exhausted the world.”
One analyst told CNBC that the trip could diffuse tensions between Russia and the West sparked by the Ukraine war.
“Because of its diplomatic prowess and major efforts in peace and stability, the UAE is well placed to help Putin seize the golden bridge to exit the war, one that the US and its Western allies have long been ready to extend ,” said Asif Shuja, senior researcher at the Middle East Institute.
Others, however, were skeptical.
“The trip appears to be a politically motivated move and is advertised as the UAE’s efforts to bring peace back to the region,” said Iman Nasseri, managing director of Facts Global Energy, an energy consultancy.
He added that the UAE and Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s “two main players”, have shown their support for Russia over the past seven to eight months in several ways: sticking to the previous OPEC+ agreement; reacts in a “very small” way to the US and European request for an output increase in August; and by mitigating the impact of EU sanctions through the re-export of Russian oil products in the UAE city Fujairah.