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In Russia, UAE leader calls for dialogue to end war in Ukraine | News

With Putin isolated by much of the world, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met the Russian president and praised relations between the two countries.

The president of the United Arab Emirates has met Vladimir Putin in Russia, a rare international visit to the country waging war on Ukraine.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan traveled to Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg to discuss the conflict while calling for stronger diplomatic ties on the sidelines of the economic forum.

Mohammed told Putin: “I am very happy to be here with Your Excellency today, we want to strengthen this relationship and we trust that you will do so.”

The UAE is one of the few countries attempting to maintain an openly neutral stance toward Russia, contrary to much of the Western world, which has imposed sanctions and condemned the Kremlin leader for ordering the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.

In carefully worded comments, Mohammed said the UAE wanted to help promote peace and supported “de-escalation” and a “political solution,” according to the UAE’s state news agency WAM.

“The UAE continues to support all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution through dialogue and diplomacy – global peace and stability,” he tweeted after the meeting.

Putin thanked Russia’s “very good partners” for their role in facilitating the prisoner exchange.

The UAE has tried to avoid making a public stand at the war, saying it wants to prevent further violence and instead encourage diplomatic action.

Abu Dhabi has not joined Western sanctions against Russia and is one of the few countries that maintains direct flights with Moscow.

Russian billionaires evading sanctions have also found safe haven in the UAE.

Russian oligarchs have been counting on the oil-rich country to unfreeze their bank accounts and take assets into their own hands.

The Gulf state has long been a U.S. ally, but its stance on the crisis suggests it is trying to balance relations under a new world order in which Moscow and Beijing are equally important, analysts say.

The two countries have also cooperated as members of the OPEC+ oil alliance.

Additionally, a November 2020 report by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Inspector General of Counterterrorism Operations in Africa found that the UAE is suspected of being a significant source of funding for Russia’s Wagner mercenaries in Libya. The UAE has denied the claim.

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