Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia this Sunday, the Russian portal "Shot" announced yesterday, referring to Putin's associate Yuri Ushakov.
The visit comes as the group of oil producers OPEC plus, of which these three countries are members, agreed last Thursday to voluntarily cut production by a total of about 2,2 million barrels per day.
Markets reacted to the agreement with skepticism due to doubts about whether the voluntary cuts will be fully implemented.
Oil prices fell by two percent last Sunday, after the announcement, and continued to fall yesterday. Brent crude oil (LCOcl) fell by almost 0,6 percent.
The 2,2 million bpd figure includes the extension of existing Saudi and Russian voluntary cuts of 1,3 million bpd.
Ushakov, as reported by "Shot", said that Putin will first go to the United Arab Emirates and then to Saudi Arabia, where he will negotiate mainly with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
"I hope that these will be useful negotiations, which we consider extremely important", said Ušakov.
Putin has rarely traveled abroad in recent years, and when he does, it is mostly former Soviet republics. His last further trip was in October to China.
In addition to cooperation within the OPEC Plus group, Putin wants to develop relations with the Gulf states as part of an initiative to build global alliances with countries outside the West, in order to demonstrate, as he claims, the failure of the US and its allies to isolate Russia.
The extent of Putin's travel abroad was curtailed in March when the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest for deporting Ukrainian children to Russia as a war crime. Russia rejected the accusation and called the move scandalous, but at the same time stated that it was legally void in any case because Russia is not a member of the ICC.
Neither Saudi Arabia nor the United Arab Emirates are members of the Court, so Putin can travel to both countries without fear of arrest by order of the ICC.