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Putin's visit draws UAE, Russia closer

The UAE's welcoming ceremony for Putin outperformed that of the Saudis but this is not the only reason why the Russian president left Abu Dhabi happy.

Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to the Gulf Cooperation Council represented a pinnacle of Russia’s growing role in the Middle East in recent years. But while all eyes were on the Russian president’s two-day stay in Saudi Arabia, it was his short trip to the United Arab Emirates afterward that demonstrated the full magnitude of Russia’s prestige in the region and the depth of the relationship between the two countries.

From the moment Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan greeted Putin at the airport, it was clear that the Russian delegation would get a truly royal treatment in Abu Dhabi. From the sky that was painted in the colors of the Russian flag by Emirati aircraft to the traffic police cars that accompanied Putin’s limousine having been repainted to resemble Russian police vehicle,  everything was made to impress the Russian delegation and demonstrate the kind of exclusivity the Emiratis attach to the relationship with Russia.

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