Despite the ongoing COP28 UN climate summit in the UAE, it remains unclear if Putin will attend it or not
Russian President Vladimir Putin has embarked on a rare foreign trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia.
His discussions with the UAE president are expected to cover the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, alongside talks on oil production. Despite the ongoing COP28 UN climate summit in the UAE, it remains unclear if Putin will attend.
This journey marks a departure from Putin’s limited international travels since March, prompted by an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant accusing him of war crimes related to the deportation of Ukrainian children. Notably, the UAE and Saudi Arabia do not recognise the ICC’s jurisdiction.
In meetings with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Putin highlighted the unprecedented levels of their bilateral relations. The discussions in the UAE will prioritise trade and oil, emphasising the nation’s significance as “Russia’s main economic partner in the Arab world.”
Putin’s agenda extends to Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to explore avenues for de-escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict. Additionally, conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Sudan will be on the agenda during visits to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Russian presidential assistant Yuri Ushakov confirmed that Putin will also meet Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi on Thursday to discuss the war in Gaza. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Putin has limited his foreign visits to Russian-occupied Ukraine, Iran, and China.