Russia and the UAE: An Ideational Partnership
Samuel Ramani, DPhil candidate, has published a new article on relations between Russia and the UAE.
Russia's re‐emergence as an influential diplomatic actor on the Arabian Peninsula after more than a quarter‐century in the geopolitical wilderness has startled the U.S. foreign policy community and countered expectations of a sustained Russia‐Gulf rift over Moscow's military support for Syrian President Bashar al‐Assad. The crowning achievement of Russia's diplomatic outreach to the peninsula was Moscow's June 2018 ratification of a strategic‐partnership agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is often described as the most trusted U.S. security partner in the Arab world. This agreement laid the groundwork for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Abu Dhabi in October 2019. Putin's trip resulted in $1.3 billion in new bilateral trade deals and caused Russian and Emirati officials to optimistically muse about the strategic partnership's future trajectory. The positions of Russia and the UAE toward regional security crises have converged in striking fashion. In December 2018, the UAE re‐established diplomatic relations with Syria and recognized Assad's legitimacy. Since April 2019, Russia and the UAE have lent material support to Libya National Army (LNA) chieftain Khalifa Haftar's offensive against Tripoli, and Russia has engaged diplomatically with the UAE‐aligned Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen.