The summit between the presidents of the UAE and Russia, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Vladimir Putin, held on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, signalled the beginning of Emirati mediation in the Ukraine war with the immediate goal of ensuring de-escalation in the conflict as a step towards a long-term diplomatic solution.
Analysts claim that Emirati mediation is likely to be seen as genuine, particularly as Abu Dhabi has avoided allegiance to any of the opposing parties up until this point.
They point out that Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s continued good relations with the combatants and willingness to participate directly in the mediation effort make this situation even more compelling.
The world’s capitals are likely to support the Emirati approach as the battle threatens civilians and nuclear facilities and appears to be spiralling out of hand.
“We addressed various matters of mutual concern, including the Ukraine crisis and the significance of participating in the conversation to lower tensions and come to a diplomatic solution,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter after meeting Putin.
The visit was intended to assist in finding “effective political solutions” to the Ukrainian situation, according to the UAE’s foreign ministry before the meeting.
The ministry stated that it emphasized the UAE’s desire to “achieve positive results for military de-escalation, lessen humanitarian consequences, and seek a political settlement to promote world peace and security.”
Putin praised Sheikh Mohammed for his efforts in mediating, saying that they assisted in resolving some “very delicate humanitarian situations” in Ukraine.
Putin stated, “I’m aware of your worry about the state of the situation and your willingness to help resolve all contentious matters, including the current crisis in Ukraine.
During the meeting, Putin also tended to support the UAE’s stance within OPEC+.
Abu Dhabi has refrained from any combative language and stated that OPEC+ decisions will only be made to support market stability.
As Putin spoke to Sheikh Mohammed, “Additionally, we are actively participating in OPEC+. I am aware of your perspective, however, please be assured that none of our decisions or actions is made with the intention of offending anyone “.
Then he continued, “Our measures are intended to bring stability to the world’s energy markets so that both energy resource users and producers, as well as suppliers to those markets, feel secure and assured. in order to achieve a balance between supply and demand.”
The United Arab Emirates has maintained extensive economic relations with Russia while attempting to avoid supporting the sanctions put in place by the US and other Western partners in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and its neighbour.
Since the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the UAE has served as a focal point for talks aimed at resolving the situation, particularly when it was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and had close links to countries like Russia, the US, and Europe.