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Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia this week, according to Putin’s aide, Yury Ushakov. This visit follows the recent agreement by the OPEC+ group of oil producers, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, to implement voluntary output cuts totaling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
The decision to reduce oil production has been met with skepticism in the markets, leading to a decrease in oil prices. After the OPEC+ announcement, oil prices fell by 2%, and Brent crude dropped nearly 0.6% to $78.45.
The 2.2 million bpd cut includes extending voluntary reductions by Saudi Arabia and Russia, amounting to 1.3 million bpd. Ushakov mentioned that Putin’s visit will begin in the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to engage primarily in negotiations with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Ushakov expressed optimism about the meetings, saying, “I hope that these will be very useful negotiations, which we consider extremely important.”
Putin’s international travel has been limited in recent years, primarily confined to former Soviet states, with his last trip beyond these countries being to China in October. Putin’s ability to travel has been further constrained since March when the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him for alleged war crimes. Russia has dismissed the allegations and the ICC’s jurisdiction, as it is not a court member. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not ICC members, enabling Putin to visit these countries without the risk of arrest under the ICC warrant.