Video: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in UAE
The leader is visiting the country after a gap of 12 years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in UAE on Tuesday afternoon on a state visit. Putin was greeted by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Roads in the Capital are lined with the flags of both countries, while the UAE-Russia Week has kicked off cultural celebrations at Emirates Palace.
The leader is visiting the country after a gap of 12 years. The visit comes just days after the UAE's first astronaut came back from Russia following a successful mission to the International Space Station, which was the result of an intergovernmental agreement.
Steady growth in ties at various levels:
Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the rapid growth in bilateral relations in the space sector. "I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the Russian minister and the Russian firms, especially the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, for advancing our space partnership which culminated in the first space mission and the launch of the first Emirati astronaut into the International Space Station (ISS) last month. We are all proud of Hazzaa AlMansoori and happy that these moments will live forever in the memory of the Emirati people, especially the youth," he said.
"Hazzaa's eight-day space mission aboard a Russian spaceship to the ISS will have a far-reaching impact on the scientific and knowledge aspects in the UAE and encourage many Emirati and Arab youth to venture into the journey of research, knowledge and adventure."
The UAE and Russia have over recent years cooperated to maintain the balance in the world oil markets and "tackle imbalances in supply and demand fluctuations" to ensure stability. "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," the UAE Foreign Minister told the Russian minister.
The two-way trade has seen "remarkable growth" over the recent years. "The UAE and Russia today are maintaining advanced strategic trade and economic partnership. The UAE is the key trading partner to Russia in the Gulf region. In the same context, I invite the two countries to set a time frame to double the trade exchange under the joint work approach and based on certain performance indexes," Sheikh Abdullah said.
On the investment sector, Sheikh Abdullah called for increasing mutual investments, particularly in sectors like oil, energy, renewable energy, base metal, construction and food security. He noted that special focus should be given to food security. "There is a prosperous market that can tap Russia's huge potentials and the UAE's logistical capacities which Moscow can benefit from not only in inter-trade between the two countries but also through the UAE as a gateway to the region's markets."
Sheikh Abdullah noted that tourism between the UAE and Russia has grown by "leaps and bounds" driven by mutual agreements. The entry visa waiver agreement has led to "remarkable increase" in tourism arrivals from ?Russia from 580,000 tourists to nearly one million.
Cultural celebrations begin in Abu Dhabi
The UAE-Russia week kicked off in Abu Dhabi on the eve of the landmark visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The event that runs until October 17 will feature a variety of Emirati and Russian cultural activities at the Emirates Palace.
The inaugural day saw traditional Emirati performances like ayyala; a selection of Emirati and Russian culinary treats including qahwa coffee and Emirati dates and Russian bread and salt; a musical performance by Emirati pianist Fatima Al Hashimi; and a showcase of traditional handicrafts.
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, inaugurated the event on Monday. Sergei Kuznetsov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the UAE, and a number of senior officials attended the opening ceremony.
Noura Al Kaabi said: "Cultural collaborations and the sharing of our traditional heritage with one another are integral to bringing two cultures closer. It provides a strong impetus to the development of bilateral relations and injecting renewed strength in the process of UAE-Russian cooperation.
"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.
"With thousands of Russian citizens residing in the UAE, our leadership is eager to strengthen our friendship and collaboration with Russia. The launch of the UAE-Russia Week is a key implementation in sharing knowledge in the field of culture between our two countries and it opens opportunities for artists and creatives to communicate," she added.
Cultural relations between the UAE and Russia have developed rapidly over the past few years. Sharjah was the guest of honour at the 2019 Moscow International Book Fair, in celebration of its Arab and international cultural status after it was chosen as the World Book Capital.
Additionally, the UAE will be welcoming Russia as the Country of Honour for the 30th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2020.