In the Qasr Al Watan Palace Vladimir Putin held talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (retranslated): First, I would like to welcome His Excellency Mr President of the Russian Federation. It is a heartfelt welcome to the second country you are visiting – the United Arab Emirates. I would like to extend warm brotherly greetings from President of the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Al Nahyan.
We very much appreciate the high- and top-level visits that our countries have exchanged in recent years. I would like to emphasise the importance and the scope of strategic relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Russian Federation and also to reaffirm that our country prioritises the efforts to promote a dialogue and relations with Russia. Our countries maintain friendly relations, as well as diverse cooperation in all areas, which has yielded tangible fruit and includes positive economic indicators.
Dear brother and friend, I am happy to meet with you after more than a year since our last meeting in Moscow. I consider Russia to be my second home and I would like to once again thank you for the warm reception.
I would also like to express my gratitude to you for your commitment to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation that we are tied together by – a friendship that exists between the peoples of the two countries and the governments of the two countries, as well as the personal friendship between the leaders of the two countries.
The United Arab Emirates is honoured that you are visiting this country and it is a historical visit. We would also like to reaffirm that our two countries are tied together by deep strategic relations. The United Arab Emirates sees brotherly, friendly and strategic relations with Russia as a priority.
Mr President, we welcome and appreciate our mutual desire to bring bilateral relations to the strategic partnership level. This agrees with our common vision and our common concept and, in keeping with this vision, we are poised to further strengthen this strategic partnership in the interests of our countries and peoples.
Mr President, I would like to praise the outcome of the 9th Russian-UAE Intergovernmental Commission Meeting, which was held ahead of your visit. I would also like to thank the Russian Government for its successful efforts to hold the third edition of Aqdar World Summit in September 2019.
Also, Mr President, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for your support for the project that the United Arab Emirates sees as a historical one – the space expedition, in which the first cosmonaut from the United Arab Emirates, Hazza Al Mansouri, took part. Sending the first ever cosmonaut from the United Arab Emirates to the International Space Station is a historical achievement that had long been a dream of the founder of our country Sheikh Zayed and it has come true.
Mr President, dear friend and brother, I would like to yet again welcome you and the high-level delegation that is accompanying you. Hopefully, this visit will leave a deep impression and will be a qualitative breakthrough in developing our strategic partnership and taking it to a new level. I am also looking forward to meeting you again before too long.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Highness, friends,
First of all, I would like to thank you for this invitation. I am really delighted to be once again in the hospitable land of the United Arab Emirates. I could see from the window of the car I was being driven in for the short journey from the airport how quickly your country is developing and how it is looking better and better.
Relations between Russia and the United Arab Emirates continue to develop successfully in a friendly and constructive manner in accordance with the Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed in Moscow back in 2018. We are expanding ties in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian fields and we are maintaining close coordination on major global and regional affairs, primarily regarding Syria, Libya, Yemen and the situation in the Gulf.
Our political dialogue is regular and substantial. Our foreign ministers are in close contact. We have developed cooperation between our security councils, special services and defence ministries. I would like to ask you to convey my best regards and to wish good health to the President of your country, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
We continue developing trade, economic and investment cooperation. Last year our trade amounted to $1.7 billion, having increased by 3.6 percent.
We are grateful for your personal support of the partnership between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Mubadala Investment Company that are jointly investing in the Russian economy. These investments have already reached $2.3 billion. Your Russian partners are not letting you down: profits from these investments are much higher than on the markets of other countries.
We continue investing and cooperating in start-ups, in the energy sector and in the peaceful nuclear development. We continue coordinating our efforts and policy on the global hydrocarbon market, in part, owing to the OPEC plus agreement.
We are now working together in the car industry. Our cooperation in space exploration has reached a new level. I would like to congratulate you once again on the successful flight of the first astronaut from the UAE to the International Space Station. This event became possible owing to our friendship and your efforts to promote this idea. We are ready to continue rendering the necessary assistance to the United Arab Emirates in space exploration, including in such fields as satellite navigation and launching space vehicles into space.
We are developing humanitarian ties. The UAE is a popular destination for Russian tourists. Last year the tourist flow increased by 23 percent. According to the Central Bank of Russia, our tourists spent over $1.3 billion in the Emirates, which is comparable with the scale of our trade. Mutual exemption of visa requirements is designed to expand contacts between our citizens. This intergovernmental agreement was signed at your initiative and entered into force last February. We will continue moving in this direction.