Before the talks, Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan toured the stands of the United Arab Emirates at the SPIEF 2023.
The UAE is participating in the forum as its main guest country.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Highness, I am delighted to welcome you to St Petersburg.
We met at the previous forum, and you visited St Petersburg in October again. We had a very good in-depth conversation. It is a great pleasure to welcome you again, this time to the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
We have just toured your country’s pavilion – a wonderful pavilion that speaks of the prospects for the development of economic ties between our countries and the Emirates’ potential in this sphere.
I know that the Emirati economy and social sphere are growing fast under your leadership, and in this sense, the UAE is definitely a very good and comfortable partner for us.
Relations between Russia and the Emirates are expanding very successfully. I will not cite specific figures now, but they are impressive. But most importantly, they benefit both Russia and the United Arab Emirates – to a large extent, of course, thanks to your support.
As for our cooperation in other areas, we will certainly take advantage of today's meeting to discuss the situation in the region.
But at the outset, I would like to thank you for your efforts to resolve humanitarian issues during the events in Ukraine – I am referring to the exchange of detainees and other humanitarian issues. This concerns specific people, and this is certainly what matters most, so thank you very much for that as well.
During today's meeting, we will have the opportunity to discuss in detail all areas of our cooperation.
President of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President.
I would like to thank my friend President Vladimir Putin for the invitation, for welcoming the Emirati companies and for the assistance you are providing to us in this beautiful city.
This is excellent evidence of cooperation between Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Bridges of partnership have been built between us and we are actively cooperating.
I am delighted to see you and to be here.
We are building strong and reliable relations, and I am grateful to you for this, Mr President, and I hope the world also benefits from our cooperation. I am grateful to you, Mr President, for your attitude towards the United Arab Emirates and I thank you personally for this opportunity.
As for Ukraine, thank you for your words. And if you believe that the Emirates can play a bigger role in the developments or in stabilising the situation, in humanitarian issues, we are ready to contribute to this in every possible way.
Thank you for giving Emirati companies the opportunity to speak at this forum. This forum plays a central role this year. I believe that cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries plays an important role in the expansion of our bilateral relations. For example, bilateral tourism is growing steadily: we hope that this year, we will receive a million Russian tourists.
Thank you. This is a very important stage and an important moment in the development of our relations.
I am delighted to see you again, Mr President.