Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t embarked on a lot of international travel since the Hague-based ICC issued an arrest warrant for him back in March, related to the Ukraine war. His most significant trip came in October to Beijing, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Wednesday will see the Russian leader make his first visit to the Middle East in a long time, and since the ICC warrant was issued. By it, he’ll seek to demonstrate that Western sanctions have not isolated him and that Russia can still assert its influence in the Middle East and elsewhere.
He’s expected to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) and President of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan—with the Israel-Hamas war high on the agenda. Of course, neither Gulf leaders have signed the founding ICC treaty, and their meeting with Putin is sure to greatly annoy Washington and European leaders.
Oil market cooperation related to OPEC+ will also be a focus, coming on the heels of the group controversially announcing new voluntary supply cuts last week:
Oil output cuts agreed by OPEC+ will take time to kick in, the Kremlin…
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