Brief: Putin’s Message to the UAE

Putin wants something from the Arab world.

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Background: Russia’s strategy in the Middle East involves active balancing between actors including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel. It often uses the leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, as a mediator in relations with the Muslim world. Kadyrov is an ideal candidate because of his Muslim background and deep ties with the Kremlin. What Happened: Kadyrov traveled on Thursday to the United Arab Emirates, where he met with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and passed on a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin reportedly hailed the “productive and multifaceted” relations between Russia and the UAE, and thanked the Emirates for supplying the North Caucasus with personal protective equipment to deal with the pandemic. Kadyrov highlighted the role of Emirati projects in developing Chechnya and discussed other areas of cooperation. Bottom Line: A visit of this nature between these two figures means Putin wants something from the Arab world. It’s notable that the visit came on the heels of a meeting between Russia, Turkey and Iran on the Syrian peace process. Essentially, Russia continues to engage multiple sides to strengthen its influence. As long as the basic structure of the nascent Israel-Arab […]

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