Russian President Vladimir Putin with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
PHOTO BY WAM
DUBAI – Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in the UAE on Tuesday (October 15) for a landmark visit just days after the UAE’s first astronaut came back from Russia following a successful space mission.
Putin was welcomed on the red carpet at the Abu Dhabi airport, with the UAE capital decked in flags of the UAE and Russia and Emirates Palace decorated with Russian handicrafts for UAE-Russia Week.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Putin headed a meeting of officials responsible for the economic cooperation between the UAE and Russia.
The meeting also discussed the strategic partnership agreement signed by the two countries last year and its role in enhancing their economic relations, as well as the role of Emirati and Russian investors and companies, such as the investment fund between the Abu Dhabi Financial Department and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, in advancing their economic and investment cooperation.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed praised the UAE’s cooperation with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and their improving overall cooperation, stating, “We are confident that this cooperation will develop and grow in the future.”
Putin welcomed the meeting’s participants, who discussed the economic, investment and trade cooperation between the two countries while highlighting the importance of consolidating their industrial and economic cooperation.
“We view the UAE as a pivotal trading partner,” Putin said, noting the considerable volume of trade between the two countries and their investment successes.
He also pointed out that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is the first Emirati fund to coordinate with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, stressing that their returns exceed three times the global level, and noting the cooperation between the two countries, including in petrochemicals, health, transport, infrastructure, space and artificial intelligence.
“In Russia, we are doing our best to make foreign business leaders feel comfortable when investing in our country. We have opportunities in the areas of technology, transportation and other industrial, commercial and investment sectors,” he added.
Putin pointed to the cooperation between the two countries in the field of oil extraction, and welcomed the UAE’s entry into the production of the “Urus” car, as well as cooperation in the field of agriculture and food, pointing out the readiness to cooperate in the field of space exploration.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Putin also witnessed the signing of several agreements and memoranda of understanding between the UAE and Russia.
The agreements span various vital sectors, including trade and investment, and sustainability and environment, intending to develop strategic partnerships between the UAE and Russia further.
Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, and his Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy, signed an agreement.
Mohammed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC, and Alexey Likhachev, Director-General of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, also signed an MoU.
The ceremony also included the signing of an agreement between ADNOC and Russia’s Gazprom Neft, signed by signed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, and Vladislav Baryshnikov, Deputy CEO for International Business Development at Gazprom Neft. The signing of a future cooperation agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, RDIF and Lukoil also took place. ADNOC also awarded Lukoil a stake in the Ghasha Sour Gas Concession. The agreements were signed by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, and Kirill Dmitriyev, RDIF CEO and Lukoil Chairman.
A MoU was also signed between Mubadala and the RDIF to explore investment cooperation in the artificial intelligence sector. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, and Kirill Dmitriyev, RDIF CEO, signed the MoU.
Later on Tuesday, Putin left the UAE after his one-day state visit. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed led an entourage of top officials to see Putin off at the airport.
Ahead of Putin’s visit to the UAE, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, hailed the UAE and Russia’s strong ties.
“The UAE’s relationship with Russia dates back over 47 years when our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, laid the foundations of these bilateral ties,” Al Kaabi said on the sidelines of the UAE-Russia Week, which runs until October 17 at Emirates Palace.
“With thousands of Russian citizens residing in the UAE, our leadership is eager to strengthen our friendship and collaboration with Russia,” she added.
Russia’s space agency helped launched the first Emirati astronaut, Hazzaa Al Mansoori, into the International Space Station in September.
In trade, the UAE and Russia have maintained a strong trade and economic partnership over the years, with the UAE as Russia’s key trading partner in the Gulf region.
On the energy market, the UAE and Russia have cooperated to maintain the balance in the world oil markets.
“The UAE is looking forward to consolidating this partnership with your country in sectors of energy, oil and renewable energy, which constitute the sustainable source of energy for future generations,” UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in a meeting with the UAE-Russia Joint Committee on Sunday. ICA/WAM/Expat Media
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