President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Highness, I am very happy to see you. Welcome to Russia.
Ever since we established diplomatic relations 50 years ago, our contacts have been developing steadily and only going upwards. Although current international relations are complicated, relations between Russia and the United Arab Emirates are an important factor of regional and overall global stability.
We are grateful to you for your mediation efforts that help resolve a number of rather sensitive humanitarian issues. I know that you are concerned about the entire situation that is developing, and I know about your desire to make a contribution to resolving all contentious issues, including the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. I would like to note that, indeed, this substantial factor makes it possible to use your influence to help gradually resolve the situation.
I know about your concern over the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant and all the developments around it. I will inform you in great detail about this aspect. This afternoon, I will meet with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.
Speaking of bilateral relations, as I have already said at the beginning, they are developing very successfully. Last year, prior to the crisis in Ukraine, trade volumes soared by 65 percent, and they continue to increase this year despite all the difficulties. In fact, they have expanded by 17 percent. Although this growth is not as impressive as in 2021, it is quite substantial.
We are working actively within OPEC Plus. I know your position, our actions and our decisions are not directed against anyone; we have no intention of creating problems for anyone, and we are not doing that. Our actions aim to stabilise global energy markets, so that consumers of energy resources and those supplying them to global markets would feel calm, stable and confident, and so that supply and demand would be balanced. We therefore respond to market requirements all the time, and we try to do this in line with current developments.
I find it very important to discuss the regional situation with you; a lot of problems remain there. The role of the United Arab Emirates and their influence on the regional situation are, of course, quite impressive, and I find it very important to discuss issues related to the situation in and around Syria with you.
Thank you for finding time to come to St Petersburg.
President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (retranslated): Mr President, I am very glad to see you and would like to extend my best wishes to you on your recent birthday.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Shukran.
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan: I would like to mention a range of issues that are important for bilateral relations. I would like to note that we have not seen each other for three years. It was a difficult time due to the coronavirus.
However, despite the challenging coronavirus conditions, we have achieved a lot: our trade grew from US$2.5 billion to US$5 billion. And [the Emirates] welcomed about half a million tourists from Russia: this is what we have achieved thanks to Russia’s assistance.
This year we will also mark the opening of the first Russian school in the Emirates. There are 4,000 Russian companies working in our country. All this strengthens the bridge that connects us, the bridge of cooperation. I hope that in the coming years we will be able to significantly increase all these indicators.
I am very glad to see you, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you for your visit. I remember my visit to the Emirates in 2019 and will never forget it.
Thank you very much.