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Putin hosts United Arab Emirates leader for economic talks

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Putin hosts United Arab Emirates leader for economic talks

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday hailed a recent decision by OPEC, Russia and other oil producing nations to limit production as key to stabilizing the global energy market, as he met the leader of the United Arab Emirates for talks on fostering economic ties.

Speaking at the start of his talks in St. Petersburg with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and the president of the United Arab Emirates, Putin hailed the ties between the two countries as important for regional and global stability.

“Despite all the difficulties that exist in the international relations today, ties between Russia and the United Arab Emirates are an important factor of stability in the region and the entire world,” Putin said at the start of his talks with Al Nahyan.

The Russian leader noted Al Nahyan’s support for the decision of the OPEC+ group that includes Russia to limit oil production to shore up oil prices, saying that “our decisions, our action, aren’t directed against anyone.”

Putin said: “Our actions are aimed at ensuring stability in global energy markets to make both comsumers of energy resources and those who deal with production and supplies feel calm, stability and confidence, to help balance supply and demand.”

The decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day has outraged the West, where many saw it as a move that would help Putin finance Russia’s action in Ukraine. The production cut also risked saddling President Joe Biden and Democrats with rising gasoline prices just ahead of U.S. midterms.

The United Arab Emirates has maintained close business ties with Russia and sought to refrain from joining the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other Western allies over Moscow’s action in Ukraine.

Putin hailed Al Nahyan for mediation efforts that helped solve some “really sensitive humanitarian issues” in Ukraine. “I’m aware of your concern about the development of the situation and your desire to contribute to the settlement of all disputed issues, including today’s crisis in Ukraine,” Putin said.