Putin in Abu Dhabi seeking $1.3 billion in investments

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan attend the official welcome ceremony in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on October 15, 2019. (Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko / POOL / AFP)

Russia President Vladimir Putin visited Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, seeking to attract over $1.3 billion worth of investments in Russia's economy.

Putin, who came to the United Arab Emirates a day after signing a key oil deal with Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, was greeted by Abu Dhabi's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

A dozen agreements worth more than $1.3 billion, notably in the energy, advanced technology and sectors, are expected to be sealed during the visit, according to the Russian sovereign wealth fund.

As Putin made his way to the presidential palace, jets painted the sky white, blue and red -- the colours of the Russian flag -- and ceremonial cannon salutes were fired.

The streets of Abu Dhabi were lined with Emirati and Russian flags, while road signs typically displaying warnings for motorists greeted Putin in Arabic and Russian.

"The United Arab Emirates welcomes the visit of the Russian president," read the signs.

"Among the Gulf countries, the UAE is the leader in terms of trade with Russia," Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov told the press a few days ahead of the visit.

In 2018, trade between the two countries had reached up to $1.7 billion.

"Relations with the Emirates are very advanced, and they are constantly improving," Russian Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. 

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