As announced by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to embark on a working visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. This revelation comes in the wake of OPEC's recent decision to voluntarily slash supply by approximately 2.2 million barrels per day—a move that has garnered a lukewarm response from the market. Putin's itinerary also includes talks in Russia with the Iranian president on the subsequent day.
Steering Global Oil Markets
One of the anticipated highlights of Putin's Gulf trip is the potential dialogue on coordinated actions concerning global oil markets, despite Peskov's assertion that such conversations usually transpire within the OPEC group. Putin's visit to the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which houses a significant trading hub for Russian oil firms in Dubai, underscores the strength and strategic nature of Moscow's ties with the Gulf states.
Building Strong Partnerships
Putin's negotiations will be primarily with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, signifying the solid partnership the two leaders have fostered, particularly within the energy sector. However, the market's tepid reaction to OPEC's supply cut announcement—reflected in an initial dip in prices, followed by a modest rise on Tuesday—casts a shadow of skepticism over the effectiveness of these cuts.
Putin's Rare International Visit
Putin's international travel has been somewhat curtailed in recent years, with his last trip outside former Soviet states being to China in October. This impending visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia is, therefore, a noteworthy move for the Russian leader. The timing of his visit also coincides with the COP28 summit in Dubai, hosted by the UAE, and further highlights the complex diplomatic landscape Putin is navigating.