The troubled Middle East is about to have a new diplomatic player on the ground with the Kremlin announcing Russia President Vladimir Putin will on Wednesday travel to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Putin will journey to the two countries for a flying one-day working visit, during which he will meet the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Russian state news agencies Tass and Ria Novosti said, citing the Shot Telegram channel and Russian news website Life.
Putin will visit Saudi Arabia where his “negotiations will primarily be with the crown prince,” shortly after making a trip to the UAE, the Shot Telegram channel quoted presidential aide Yuri Ushakov as saying, AP reports.
The UAE is currently hosting the COP28 U.N. Climate Change Conference, but it is not clear if Putin will attend.
“I hope that these will be very useful negotiations, which we consider extremely important,” Ushakov was quoted as saying by Life news. Neither state news agency appeared to be able to independently confirm the reports.
According to AP, the talks will focus on bilateral relations, the war between Israel and Hamas and other international issues. Topics related to oil price caps under OPEC+ will also be on the agenda.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March for war crimes in Ukraine accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children by his troops, as Breitbart News reported.
Since the warrant was issued, Putin chose not to attend a BRICS summit in South Africa because the country would be obliged to arrest Putin upon arrival as it is a signatory to the international court’s treaty.
Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE have signed the ICC’s founding treaty.