Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his gratitude to the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, for his efforts in securing the release of prisoners of war in Ukraine. The appreciation came during their discussions at Russia’s annual economic forum in St Petersburg. Putin also commended the strengthening economic relationship between Moscow and Abu Dhabi.
While many Western counterparts have opted to stay away due to the Ukraine conflict, UAE companies made their presence felt at the forum. The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, is a member of the OPEC+ oil alliance, which includes Russia. Despite pressure from the West to isolate and impose sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, the UAE has maintained positive relations with Moscow.
The UAE has actively promoted economic cooperation with Russia and refrained from participating in Western sanctions. Dubai, in particular, has emerged as a hub for Russian businesspeople, with direct flights to Moscow facilitating increased economic ties.
Putin acknowledged the UAE’s remarkable progress in both its economy and social sphere under Sheikh Mohammed’s leadership. He expressed appreciation for the UAE’s role as a reliable and comfortable partner for Russia, emphasizing the successful development of their bilateral relationship.
Additionally, the UAE has played a pivotal role in facilitating prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine. Putin recognized the significance of these efforts in addressing humanitarian concerns. Sheikh Mohammed, who shares a close bond with Putin, expressed his readiness to continue assisting in stabilizing the situation in Ukraine and addressing humanitarian needs.
Following their meeting, Sheikh Mohammed took to Twitter, reaffirming the UAE’s commitment to supporting political solutions through dialogue and diplomacy.
The discussions between Putin and Sheikh Mohammed highlight the positive trajectory of Russian-UAE relations. The UAE’s willingness to cooperate in various areas, including conflict resolution and humanitarian assistance, underscores their commitment to fostering a productive partnership. Furthermore, the UAE’s stance of non-participation in Western sanctions against Russia, coupled with its active engagement with Russian business interests, strengthens the growing economic ties between the two nations.