By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com — The ruler of the United Arab Emirates will meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, according to a statement from the UAE’s state news agency.
The WAM agency said Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Putin will discuss “the friendly relations” between the two countries, along with “regional and international issues and developments of common interest.”
Sheikh Mohamed’s trip to Russia comes a week after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, which includes both the UAE and Russia, agreed to slash output sharply in a bid to support slumping energy prices.
The decision by the oil group, known as OPEC+, received disapproval from the Biden administration, who had been lobbying Saudi Arabia – the organization’s de facto leader – against a drawdown.
The White House claimed that the move to cut production by 2M barrels per day – equal to roughly 2% of global supply – showed that OPEC+ was “aligned with Russia” as it carries out its invasion of Ukraine.
In a tweet on Monday, former Emirati finance chief Nasser Al-Shaikh said the UAE head will attempt to “defuse a European war.”
“The whole world is weary of the level this war can escalate to. Any country able to act as a back channel [and] is accepted by the parties involved is welcome to do its best […],” he wrote.
The UAE has moved to avoid taking a specific stance behind either the West or Russia throughout the conflict, although it did vote for an United Nations resolution that described the recent Moscow-backed referendums of four territories in eastern Ukraine as “illegal.”