Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L), President of the United Arab Emirates, and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on 11 October, 2022. (Photo credit: Pavel Bednyakov/POOL/TASS)
The President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss global oil markets amongst other topics in Moscow on 11 October.
#Russia | UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed meets with Russia's Putin pic.twitter.com/IlslCdSkQT
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The visit comes less than a week after the OPEC+ group of nations decided to cut oil production output by two million barrels per day (bpd), defying the hopes and expectations of the Joe Biden government to curb runaway energy prices.
During the visit, Putin said that “Russia’s actions are aimed at creating stability in the energy markets.”
He also emphasized the importance of the relationship between the two countries and thanked the UAE leader for mediating efforts to resolve humanitarian issues, as well as the current situation in Syria.
The Russian president also assured that recent decisions made by OPEC+ were not aimed at anyone in particular, but rather the a measure to meet lower demand.
Al-Nahyan also addressed bilateral trade between both states, saying that “we have increased our trade turnover from 2.5 billion to 5 billion dollars, and about half a million tourists from Russia. We hope to increase these figures in the coming years.”
Before his visit to Moscow, the Emirati president made a stop in Serbia, where he met with President Vucic to discuss mutual cooperation as well as a number of regional and international issues.
Earlier in September, the UAE provided Serbia with a low-interest loan of around $1 billion dollars.
Last week’s decision by OPEC+ came as a major blow against US President Joe Biden, who has spent the better part of this year trying to convince Washington’s long-time partners in the Gulf to boost oil production levels and break with their OPEC+ commitments.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused Gulf states on 5 October of “aligning with Russia,” and claimed the oil production cut “is shortsighted while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of [Russia’s] invasion of Ukraine,” in reference to the crisis caused by western sanctions imposed on Russia’s energy sector and attacks on Russian energy infrastructure.
US officials have also warned they are “weighing” a response to their Gulf allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, with threats of cutting back arms sales to Washington’s biggest customer.
US lawmakers are also threatening legislation that would lift the sovereign immunity of OPEC members, subjecting the particular nations and their oil companies to US antitrust law.
Last week, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the OPEC+ decision “a victory for common sense” and said it countered the “mayhem” caused by the US in global energy markets.