Issue Brief on “Shifting Sands: Putin’s Strategic Endeavours in the Middle East (Part 1)”

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To finish the year in a strong manner, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid working visits to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on December 6, 2023.[1]

The visits (to both countries) were conducted within twenty-four hours because President Putin had to return to Moscow for a meeting with Iranian President Raisi the next day.[2] These visits were termed as a “lightning tour,” and a ‘potent round’ by Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov.[3]

This was the first time President Putin visited these Middle Eastern countries (or countries of the Persian Gulf) since prior to the start of COVID-19 pandemic. The last time he visited these countries was in October 2019.

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