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The New Arab

UAE moves closer to Russia as Abu Dhabi's political plans collapse

Mohammed bin Zayed arrived in Moscow on Thursday for a two-day visit. [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 June, 2018

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The UAE is attempting to woo Russia with a visit by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to Moscow.

Russia and the UAE signed a declaration of strategic partnership on Friday, in a sign of closer ties between the two countries.

Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed arrived in Moscow on Thursday for a two-day visit, during which he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The UAE has been a close partner for us in the Middle East for years, and today we will sign a Declaration of Strategic Partnership as a further step in strengthening our relations," Putin said, according to Gulf News.

The deal will cover trade, politics, security, economy, and culture.

The UAE appears to be trying to woo Russia, as its plans to isolate Qatar have not been fulfilled.

Media reported on Friday that UAE's ally, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, sent a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, urging him to prevent Qatar purchasing the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia.

Saudi Arabia allegedly threatened military action against Qatar, if Moscow went ahead with the deal.

Qatar announced earlier this year that the deal was going ahead as planned.

Russia and Abu Dhabi have also signed a cooperation agreement to stabilise energy markets amid a rising trend in oil prices.

The deal calls for both countries to maintain contacts "to ensure balance and stability on the world hydrocarbon market, taking into account the interests of producers and consumers".

Russia and the OPEC cartel of oil producers including the UAE at the end of 2016 reached a deal to cut production following a glut that had sent prices crashing and the crude sector into disarray.

"Our joint efforts, including our friends from Saudi Arabia and from the whole of the OPEC organisation, bring good results to stabilise the hydrocarbons market," Putin said in a statement posted on the government website.

Abu Dhabi, one of seven states in the UAE, holds more than 90 percent of the federation's 98 billion barrels of crude oil reserves. The UAE is OPEC's fourth largest crude oil producer.

"I think our cooperation will increase, including with the signing of the declaration on a strategic partnership," the crown prince told Putin in translated comments.

He said that he expected the volume of trade between the countries "to continue to strengthen exponentially."

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