Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, and they discussed issues related to investments, as well as their “cooperation in the energy sector,” as well as the Israeli war with Hamas in Gaza. Earlier Wednesday, Putin made a working visit to the Emirates, during which he met his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
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The Russian president has arrived Vladimir Putin To Riyadh on Wednesday on the second leg of a diplomatic tour that includes the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; With the aim of discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and oil production.
Putin, whom the West has sought to isolate since his attack in Ukraine, has for some time reduced his travel abroad, but he has begun to return to the international arena. After being targeted by an arrest warrant on charges of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia issued by the International Criminal Court, he used to devote his trips to visiting his closest allies.
The Russian President’s plane landed in Riyadh on Wednesday evening, where he was received by the Emir of the Riyadh region, Prince Faisal bin Bandar, in accordance with Saudi diplomatic norms, according to what the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Russian President later met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom.
Putin said: “Nothing can prevent the development of our friendly relations,” calling on the Saudi Crown Prince to visit Moscow.
He added: “It is very important for all of us to exchange information and assessments with you about what is happening in the region. Our meeting certainly comes at the appropriate time.”
Prince Mohammed bin Salman said after the meeting: “Today we share many interests and many files that we are working on together for the benefit of Russia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and the world as well.”
He added, “Coordination and political action between the two countries helped remove many tensions in the Middle East and contributed to enhancing security.”
The Kremlin announced that Putin would discuss with the Saudi Crown Prince issues related to investments, as well as their “cooperation in the energy sector,” which would ensure a “stable and predictable situation” in the international market.
Also in Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin will present his vision of the international situation, including the war between Israel and Hamas, and “ways to work to stop the escalation,” according to the Russian presidency.
Earlier Wednesday, Putin made a working visit to the Emirates, during which he met his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He received an official reception ceremony with an honor guard at the presidential palace, while an air patrol crossed the sky and fired smoke bombs in the colors of the Russian flag. Artillery shots were also heard from a close range, according to scenes published by the Kremlin.
At the beginning of his meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Putin stressed that “thanks to your position, our relations have reached an unprecedented level,” praising the United Arab Emirates as “Russia’s main trading partner in the Arab world,” and talking about “projects in the gas and oil sector.”
The UAE and Saudi Arabia did not take a clear position in support of Moscow or Kiev in the war in Ukraine, but Riyadh refused to respond to an American request to increase oil production, whose prices rose due to the war.
He said that he avoided participating in these meetings so as not to “embarrass” the organizers. But the criminal court’s warrant still hinders his movements, because he may be arrested if he heads to a country that is a member of the court’s founding treaty. But neither the UAE nor the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed the founding treaty known as the Rome Statute.
Putin has so far preferred to travel to allied countries. In October, he was received by his counterpart Xi Jinping in China on the sidelines of the New Silk Roads Forum. A few days before that, he went to Kyrgyzstan, another country very close to Moscow, on his first trip abroad since the arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court.
But the Russian President currently believes that the international context is more suitable for him.
The long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive this summer has faltered in the face of Russian defenses. As for the unconditional support that the West has been providing to Kiev until now, it is beginning to show signs of weakness, due to political divisions, which is what the Kremlin was hoping for.
Inside Russia, oil revenues have recovered, voices opposing the Kremlin have been systematically silenced, and Vladimir Putin is preparing to launch his re-election campaign in March, which is no longer in doubt.
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