Putin to visit UAE, Saudi Arabia this week

Published December 5, 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a ceremony to receive diplomatic credentials from newly appointed foreign ambassadors at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia on Dec 4, 2023. — Sputnik via Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a ceremony to receive diplomatic credentials from newly appointed foreign ambassadors at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia on Dec 4, 2023. — Sputnik via Reuters

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia this week, Russian news outlet Shot reported on Monday, citing Putin’s aide Yury Ushakov.

The reported visit comes after the OPEC+ group of oil producers, which includes all three countries, agreed last Thursday to voluntary output cuts totalling 2.2 million barrels a day.

Markets reacted with scepticism to the deal because of doubts about whether the voluntary cuts would be fully implemented. Oil prices fell two per cent last week after the announcement, and declined further on Monday. The figure of 2.2 million bpd included an extension of existing Saudi and Russian voluntary cuts of 1.3 million bpd.

Shot quoted Ushakov as saying Putin would go first to UAE and then to Saudi Arabia, where negotiations would take place mainly with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“I hope that these will be very useful negotiations, which we consider extremely important,” Ushakov said. Putin has rarely travelled abroad in recent years, and mostly to states of the former Soviet Union. His last trip beyond those countries was to China in October.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2023

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