Russia's Putin to visit UAE, Saudi Arabia tomorrow, Kremlin confirms

He is expected to discuss the Israel-Hamas war and international politics; but it's unclear if the Russian president will attend any COP28 events


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Published: Tue 5 Dec 2023, 1:55 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the UAE and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the Kremlin announced, as Moscow courts allies abroad despite being isolated over the Ukraine conflict.

Putin has limited his international travel since deploying troops to Ukraine, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an international arrest warrant for him on the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.

"President Putin will go on a working visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia tomorrow," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

He said the Russian leader would discuss bilateral relations, the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and international politics.

The UAE is hosting the COP28 UN climate talks, but the Kremlin did not specify whether Putin would attend any related events.

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Putin has missed several high-level gatherings abroad since Moscow launched large-scale hostilities in Ukraine in February 2022.

Putin skipped the Brics summit in South Africa in August to avoid causing a "political show".

He also missed the in-person flagship G20 summit in September — though he attended a virtual G20 meeting in November.

Since March, Putin has been wanted by the ICC, and member states are expected to make good on the warrant if the Russian leader enters their country.

Neither the UAE nor Saudi Arabia have signed the ICC's founding treaty.

Putin visited China in October, his first visit outside the former Soviet Union this year.

Several days earlier, he travelled to ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan in his first foreign visit since the ICC issued its warrant.


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