Russia-Ukraine: UAE's Mohammed bin Zayed urges 'peaceful resolution' in call to Putin
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed spoke on the phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, and called for a "peaceful resolution" to the conflict in Ukraine that "would guarantee the interest of all parties and their national security".
Bin Zayed told the Russian leader the United Arab Emirates would "continue its coordinations with the concerned parties in order to help find a sustainable political solution to the ongoing crisis".
Bin Zayed had earlier spoken about Ukraine with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Emirati foreign ministry said in a statement.
A spokesperson for 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister's office, said Johnson had spoken to bin Zayed on 24 February, the day Russian forces launched their invasion of Ukraine.
According to Russian reports, Putin "outlined the reasons, goals and objectives of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine... In turn, Mohammed bin Zayed reaffirmed that Russia has a right to ensure national security."
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Putin also stressed the need for continued coordination between oil-producing nations, as crude prices again traded above $100 a barrel, against the backdrop of the conflict.
Putin and bin Zayed discussed "supporting stability in the global energy market", according to a Kremlin statement on Tuesday.
Opec+, a 23-nation group of major oil producers that includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Russia, will meet via video conference on Wednesday. It is expected to stick to a plan to increase production only gradually, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
On Sunday, the kingdom confirmed its commitment to an Opec+ agreement with Russia and its allies, even as Moscow and Russian energy companies faced intensifying sanctions from many western countries.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sent oil prices jumping above $100 for the first time since 2014, raising questions as to whether other major producers, such as Saudi Arabia, will be willing to step up production to help moderate prices.
US President Joe Biden has tried to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to increase oil production, but they have so far rejected his calls. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have the largest spare capacities - extra volume of production that can be easily and quickly exported - among all the Opec countries.
Experts previously told MEE that according to current trends in the market, the price of a barrel of oil could reach as much as $120, creating a heavy burden for many countries around the world already reeling from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Abstention on Ukraine
The UAE has remained relatively quiet about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. At the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, the country stressed the need for a ceasefire between the parties in Ukraine, but made no mention of Russia.
Abu Dhabi also joined China and India in abstaining in the vote on a UN Security Council resolution on Friday that condemned Russia's aggression. The UAE later said that the veto by Moscow - a permanent member of the UN Security Council - meant the vote was a "foregone conclusion" and "avenues for dialogue must remain open".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was scheduled to meet with his UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Moscow on Monday, but the meeting was cancelled without explanation.
While the UAE has been one of the US's top allies in the Middle East, it has also forged ties with Moscow over the past several years and has invested billions of dollars in Russia through one of its wealth funds.
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